BFAR reminds public not to eat shellfishes

By Cet Dematera


The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol has reiterated its reminder to the public not to eat shell fishes gathered from the Sorsogon Bay and the sea of Milagros, Masbate as the red tide alert remains hoisted over these bodies of water.


Nonie Enolva, BFAR Bicol spokesperson, has issued the reminder during the Christmas season. in Enolva said that in BFAR’s latest bulletin dated Dec. 14, Sorsogon Bay and Milgros town in Masbate are still in the list of areas contaminated with red tide-causing microorganisms in the country.


Banned for consumption are green mussel (tahong), carpet shell (baduy), pen shell (baloko), blood cockle (piyong and takal) and other shellfishes (surusalapi, kagot, punaw, etc.) harvested in the specified areas.


She said they already removed their border checkpoint between Sorsogon and Albay after transport of the prohibited sea products had already been stopped days after the red tide alert has been raised on Dec.7.


Enolva said that BFAR would again examine samples of shellfishes in Sorsogon Bay and Milagros anytime this coming January.


She explained that the resurgence of the red tide-causing planktons could have been triggered by typhoons that hit Bicol in the past few weeks.


She said that the huge waves and flash floods spawned by the typhoons disturbed and mobilized the sea bed as well as produced a mixture of waste and other contaminants.


“The water current and the waves could have released and reactivated the red tide-causing algae that had been buried under the sea bed,” Enolva said.


Sorsogon Bay is the major source of shell fishes being sold in Bicol and in the National Capital Region.

Red tide alert was last raised in Sorsogon Bay five years ago.