BFAR: Red tide still up in Sorsogon Bay

By Mar S. Arguelles


The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol reiterated its warning to fisherfolk and residents in Sorsogon province that the gathering and selling of shellfish coming from the Sorsogon Bay is still prohibited due to the high level of red toxins prevailing in area.


BFAR Shellfish Bulletin issued on Monday, Feb. 8, said that shellfish collected at Sorsogon Bay are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit of the red tide toxin or unsafe for human consumption.


Nonie Enolva BFAR spokesperson, said they advised their local fisheries units in the towns along the Sorsogon Bay to intensify their campaign against the collection, selling, transporting, and eating of the shellfish contaminated with red tide toxins found in polluted bay.


Enolva said directed their fishery officers to set up checkpoints in coordination with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to monitor the entry and exit of shipment of the banned shellfish in major highways in the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay, and the Camarines provinces.


To recall, in the past, several people mostly children died and close to a hundred residents in Sorsogon were hospitalized due to poisoning after eating shellfish contaminated with red tide toxins.


Likewise the study found out that paralytic shellfish contamination was also positive in the coastal waters of Western and Eastern Samar, Tacloban City in Leyte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Negros Oriental, Tagbilaran City in Bohol, Taytay in Palawan, Biliran Islands, and Zamboanga del Sur.


BFAR warned that all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption.


BFAR added that fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs 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.


Enolva said the shellfish ban would stay until lifted.