Red tide alert raised in 10 areas – BFAR

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) announced on Wednesday released a red tide alert warning in 10 areas.

BFAR warned the public against collecting and eating shellfish from 10 coastal areas due to red tide, or toxic algal blooms infestation.

According to its Shellfish Bulletin No. 06, issued on Wednesday, BFAR said that its laboratory tests on shellfishes collected from several coastal waters in the country indicate positive results for paralytic shellfish poison, beyond the regulatory limit.

Red tide alert raised in 10 areas – BFAR

  1. Inner Malampaya Sound, in Palawan;
  2. Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon;
  3. Coastal Waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol;
  4. Tambobo Bay, Siaton in Negros Oriental;
  5. Coastal Waters of Calubian, and Cancato Bay, City in Leyte;
  6. Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur;
  7. Murcielagos Bay (Sapang Dalaga and Baliangao) and Coastal Waters of Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental;
  8. Taguines Lagoon, Benoni, Mahinog in Camiguin;
  9. Balite Bay, Mati City in Davao Oriental; and
  10. Lianga Bay and Coastal waters of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur

All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or gathered from the areas indicated are unsafe for human consumption, BFAR added.

On the other hand, 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.

According to BFAR, red tide is a term used to describe a coastal phenomenon in which the is discolored by high algal biomass or concentration of algae. The discoloration may not necessarily be red, but it may also appear yellow, brown, green, blue, milky, depending on the organisms involved. It may either be harmful or harmless.

Filter-feeding shellfish, which include clams, cockles, oysters, mussels, and scallops from red tide affected coastal areas are unsafe to eat.

Fish, squids, crabs, and shrimps can be eaten during a red tide because the toxin is not absorbed in the edible tissues of these animals. However, the gills, viscera, and internal organs of fish must be removed before cooking.

Toxic shellfish taste and appear no different from nontoxic shellfish, and cooking does not destroy the red tide toxin. Testing is the only way to determine if shellfish contain unsafe levels of toxin.