THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has warned consumers against eating shellfish harvested from eastern Bataan, specifically Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay, and Samal, and Inner Malampaya Sound in northern Palawan after the detection in those waters of red tide contamination.
BFAR said the newly-identified areas join other red-tide positive areas such as Puerto Princesa Bay, Milagros, Masbate; Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol; Tambobo Bay, Negros Oriental; Daram Island, Zumarraga, and Irong-irong and San Pedro Bays, Western Samar; Cancabato Bay, Leyte; Matarinao Bay, Eastern Samar; Balite Bay, Davao Oriental; and Lianga Bay and Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
BFAR added that all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang harvested from these areas are not safe for human consumption.
However, other marine species captured in the areas can be eaten by humans with proper handling.
“Fish, squid, shrimp, and crab 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 said.
According to BFAR, red tide occurs due to high concentrations of algae in the water.
Eating contaminated shellfish can result in paralytic shellfish poisoning, which affects the nervous system.
Common symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning include headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Severe cases may include muscular paralysis and respiratory issues. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave