BFAR warns paralytic shellfish poison detected in Bataan, Palawan, others

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Wednesday advised the public that shellfish caught from several areas in Bataan, Palawan, and other provinces have been found to have paralytic shellfish poison beyond the regulatory limit.

The public is warned against the consumption of shellfish from the following areas:

  • Coastal waters of Bataan (Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay and Samal);
  • Honda and Puerto Princesa Bays in Puerto Princesa City, and Coastal waters of Inner Malampaya Sound, Taytay in Palawan;
  • Coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate;
  • Coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol;
  • Tambobo Bay, Siaton in Negros Oriental;
  • Coastal Waters of Daram Island, Zumarraga, Irong-irong, San Pedro, Maqueda and Villareal Bays in Western Samar;
  • Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City and Carigara Bay in Leyte;
  • Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar;
  • Balite Bay, Mati City in Davao Oriental; and
  • Lianga Bay and Coastal waters of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur

Moreover, Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur is now positive for red tide toxin, according to BFAR, in an advisory dated October 26.

detected in Bataan, Palawan, others – BFAR

“All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or gathered from the areas shown above are NOT SAFE for human consumption,” it said.

“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,” BFAR added.

According to the Washington State Department of Health, Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) is a naturally occurring marine biotoxin produced by some microscopic algae species.

“Shellfish eat these algae and can retain the toxin. People can become ill from eating shellfish contaminated with Paralytic Shellfish Poison. This biotoxin affects the nervous system and paralyzes muscles, thus the term “paralytic” shellfish poison. High levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poison can cause severe illness and death,” it said.

Bivalve molluscan shellfish such as clams, mussels, oysters, geoduck, and scallops can accumulate Paralytic Shellfish Poison. So can moon snails and other gastropods. Other marine species, such as sea cucumbers, might be affected. Crab, because they feed on shellfish, can also become toxic.