BFAR identifies 6 red tide areas PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 11 February 2012 14:53

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has identified six water bodies contaminated with paralytic poison or red tide toxins.

Based on its shellfish bulletin no. 3 as of January 27, 2012, shellfish collected from those areas were found in their laboratory tests to be positive of paralytic poison that is beyond regulatory limit.

BFAR named the contaminated areas as Dumanquillias Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Murcielagos Bay affecting Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental; Masinloc Bay, Zambales; Bataan Coastal Waters affecting the city of Balanga and the towns of Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Orani, Abucay and Samal; Batarinao Bay in Eastern Samar and Wawa in Bani, Pangasinan.

The bureau warned that all types of shellfish gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption. Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

Attorney Benjamin Felipe S. Tabios Jr., BFAR assistant director for administrative services, on Thursday said over radio program “Talking Points” aired over DZRB Radyo ng Bayan and People’s Television 4 (PTV4) that these areas are secured by the local government units to ensure that no shell products would be gathered and brought to the market or eaten by the fisherfolks themselves.

Tabios explained that algal toxins in coastal waters make the water red but the toxins are filtered by the shells to prevent its spread to other marine creatures. He also clarified that the toxin could not penetrate the flesh of the fish so it is safe to eat.

”We are fortunate in BFAR because there have not been any fatal incidents that happened due to the massive help of the national government,” he claimed.
The BFAR official said that there are red tide toxins for some months but there was a time when it took three years before they disappeared.

In a brighter note, Tabios said that shells with red tide could be used for something beneficial. He cited the fisherfolks in Sorsogon who cleaned the shells, dried them up and made them pieces of arts, such as necklace, bracelet and other souvenir items and sold them.