Red tide alert up in 4 Eastern Visayas bays

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has imposed shellfish ban on four bays in Leyte and Samar provinces due to recurrence of red tide.

BFAR found the red tide bloom in bays and some coastal waters in the region through laboratory analysis that lasted for two weeks.

The presence of red tide in both meat and water calls for prohibition of gathering, trading and consumption of shellfish from identified areas, the BFAR regional office said in a statement issued August 24.

Tagged as red tide positive are Carigara Bay in Leyte; Irong-Irong Bay, Maqueda Bay, and Villareal Bay in Samar; and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar.

The fisheries bureau advised the public to refrain from eating, harvesting, marketing, and buying shellfishes and Acetes sp. from affected bays until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory level.

Fishes caught in these areas are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh, washed and cooked thoroughly, according to BFAR’s advisory.

The fisheries bureau has stepped up water sampling activities in affected areas to ensure safety of shellfish consumers. (PNA)