Red tide alert issued in Masbate, Bohol, W Samar, Davao Oriental

The Bureau of Aquatic Resources and Fisheries (BFAR) has issued a red tide alert in five areas in the waters of Masbate, Visayas, and Mindano.

Shellfish collected from Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental, the coastal waters of Mandaon and Milagros in Masbate, the coastal waters of Dauis in Bohol, Irong-Irong Bay, and from Cambatutay Bay in Western Samar, tested positive for paralytic poison, according to BFAR’s latest Shellfish Bulletin.

The warning was raised following the results of laboratory tests conducted by BFAR and the local government units concerned.

This means that shellfish and  acetes or alamang (small shrimp) collected in these areas are not safe for human consumption.

However, BFAR clarified that fish, squid, shrimps, and crabs caught in these waters are still safe to eat, provided that they are freshly harvested, thoroughly washed, and that internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed prior to cooking.

Meanwhile, areas around the Manila Bay, which includes the coastal waters of Las Piñas, Parañaque and Navotas in Metro Manila, and Bataan, Bulacan, and Cavite, have been cleared from the deadly red tide toxin.

According to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the red tide toxin, which is usually produced by harmful species of algae, causes the life threatening disorder called “paralytic shellfish poisoning” that can cause neurological damage or in extreme cases, result in respiratory arrest within 24 hours of consumption of the toxic shellfish.

Symptoms include tingling, numbness, and burning of the perioral region in the mouth, ataxia or the loss of control of bodily movements, giddiness, drowsiness, fever, rash, and staggering.