Red tide alert in Zambo Sur, Norte PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 August 2011 17:07

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) issued Shellfish Bulletin No. 18 warning that all shellfish collected from Dumaquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur, Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Oriental and in Masinloc Bay in the province of Zambales are “still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.”

The BFAR also warned that “Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar is now positive for red tide toxin.” The bureau has banned the harvesting, selling, buying and consumption of mussels, clams and shrimp fry in these areas.

According to the bulletin, “all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered” from these areas “are not safe for human consumption.” Fish, squid, shrimp and crab from 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.”

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), is classified as a life threatening syndrome. The symptoms are purely neurological and their onset is rapid. The duration of the red tide toxin’s effects lasts a few days in non-lethal cases. PSP symptoms include tingling, numbness and burning of the region within and surrounding the mouth and nose, ataxia or loss of muscle coordination, giddiness, drowsiness, fever, rashes, and staggering. The most severe cases of PSP result in respiratory arrest within 24 hours of consuming toxic shellfish.

If the patient is not breathing or if a pulse is not detected, artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be needed as first aid. There is no antidote to the red tide toxin and supportive therapy is the rule for survivors to recover fully. PSP is prevented by large-scale proactive monitoring programs (assessing toxin levels in mussels, oysters, scallops, clams) and rapid closures of suspect or demonstrated toxic areas to harvest.

In the same bulletin, the BFAR said the following areas “continue to be free of toxic red tides”: Coastal waters of Cavite, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Navotas, Bulacan and Bataan in Manila Bay; the coastal waters of Bolinao, Anda, Alaminos and Bani in Pangasinan; the coastal waters of Milagros and Mandaon in Masbate; Juag Lagoon in Matnog and Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon; Honda and Puerto Bays in Puerto Princesa City and Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay, Palawan; the coastal waters of Pilar, President Roxas, Pontevedra, Panay, Roxas City, Ivisan and Sapian in Capiz; the coastal waters of E.B Magalona, Pontevedra, Pulupandan, Valladolid, Talisay City, Silay City, Bacolod City and San Enrique in Negros Occidental; Irong-Irong, Maqueda and Villareal Bays in Samar; Ormoc, San Pedro, Cancabato and Carigara Bays in Leyte; Biliran waters in Biliran Province; Hinatuan, Bislig and Lianga Bays in Surigao del Sur; Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental and; Taguines Lagoon in Benoni Mahinog, Camiguin Island. — BFAR/PIA