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BFAR raises red tide warning over parts of Leyte, Samar islands

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has raised the red tide warning over parts of Leyte and Samar and discouraged consumption of shellfish harvested from those waters.

The advisory covers shellfish from Calubian and the municipality of Leyte in Leyte province, the province of Biliran Islands, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, and Cambatutay Bay, Western Samar.

In its 26th shellfish bulletin of 2020, the BFAR said red tide warnings remain raised over Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay, and Samal, Bataan; Honda and Puerto Princesa bays and Inner Malampaya Sound, Palawan; Milagros, Masbate; Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol; and Tambobo Bay, Negros Oriental.

Warnings are also up over Daram Island, Zumarraga, Irong-irong, San Pedro, Maqueda, and Villareal Bays, Western Samar; Cancabato and Carigara Bays. Leyte; Matarinao Bay, Eastern Samar; Balite Bay, Davao Oriental; Lianga Bay and Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; and Dumanquillas Bay, Zamboanga del Sur.

The BFAR also declared that Bislig Bay, Surigao del Sur to be clear of red tide contamination.

The BFAR said all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang harvested from the identified areas are not safe for human consumption.

However, other marine species captured in the area can be eaten by humans with proper handling.

“Fish, squid, shrimp, and crab are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking,” the BFAR said.

Red tide occurs due to high concentrations of algae in the water.

Eating contaminated shellfish can result in paralytic shellfish poisoning, which affects the nervous system.

Common symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning include headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Severe cases may include muscular paralysis and respiratory issues. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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