BFAR raises red tide alert in 2 Samar towns
TACLOBAN CITY — Shellfish ban is up in the coastal waters of Basey and Marabut in Samar province as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) noted a high level of red tide toxin levels in both seawater and shellfish meat.
BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said on Friday this is the first red tide occurrence in the two coastal Samar towns since 2002. Authorities found the presence of red tide during a test on February 20.
“Conditions such as dry season, increase water temperature, higher salinity and sudden rainfall events might promote a red tide bloom,” Albaladejo said in a phone interview.
Local government units are advised to regulate gathering, marketing and transporting of shellfish in affected areas.
Aside from the two Samar towns, red tide alert is still up in Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar.
Red tide alert has been up in Matarinao Bay since mid-2018 while Cancabato Bay has been affected by the phenomenon since January.
Based on the BFAR Shellfish Bulletin “all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the coastal waters of Biliran are not safe for human consumption.”
Fish, squid, shrimp, and crab are safe to eat “provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking,” BFAR said.
Red tide is a term used to describe a phenomenon where the water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae.
The discoloration may not necessarily be red in color, but it may also appear yellow, brown, green, blue or milky, depending on the organisms involved. (PNA)