Red tide stays in 10 Eastern Visayas bays

RED TIDE. The Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City in this undated photo. Red tide organisms have remained in 10 Eastern Visayas bays as frequent rainfall hit several parts of the region, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources reported on Friday (Nov. 19, 2021).(Photo courtesy of Noel Castillo)

TACLOBAN CITY – Red tide organisms have remained in 10 Eastern Visayas bays as frequent rainfall hit several parts of the region, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported on Friday.

BFAR 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Juan Albaladejo said the downpour since October has triggered the runoff of pollutants from the uplands to the sea.

“Th(is) recurrence of red tide in 10 bays and near-shore coastal waters in the region, which previously have (a) history of a red tide event, might be due to the series of massive rains. This cause(d) runoff of soil sediments rich in organic load that fertilized the cyst of red tide. These were upwelled from the sea bottom and causing the sudden appearance of red tide events,” Albaladejo said in a message sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Based on laboratory examination results of shellfish meat samples, the toxic organism was found in Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City; Cambatutay Bay in Tarangnan, Samar; Maqueda Bay in Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, San Sebastian, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, and Hinabangan, Samar; and the coastal waters of Daram, Samar.

Other red tide-hit areas are San Pedro Bay in Basey, Samar; Matarinao Bay in General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar; the coastal waters of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Biliran Island; Villareal Bay in Villareal, Samar; and Irong Irong Bay in Catbalogan City, Samar.

The BFAR will step up its monitoring of these coastal waters and activate its information drive system to alert the public and inform affected local government units.

Albaladejo requested local government units in these bays to also heighten their watch against the gathering, trading, and consumption of shellfish to prevent paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

PSP occurs after ingesting bivalve shellfish, such as mussels, oysters, and clams, which contain toxins.

Symptoms include tingling of the lips and tongue, which may begin within minutes of eating toxic shellfish or may take an hour or two to develop. This may progress to tingling of fingers and toes and then loss of control of arms and legs, followed by difficulty in breathing.

Fish, squid, shrimp, and crabs harvested in these areas are safe to eat “provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs, such as gills and intestines, are removed before cooking.”

The BFAR has been regularly analyzing water samples through its regional laboratory to ensure that shellfish are safe for human consumption. (PNA)



Source: Business Diary Philippines

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