Red tide warning up in 4 Samar bays

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 8 warned against eating, harvesting and buying shellfishes in areas covered by four bays in Samar province in Eastern Visayas due to red tide.

MB File- Red Tide Free popular shellfish “Tahong” or mussels is peddled at Magsaysay Fish Market in Dagupan City on Wednesday, June 10, 2015. BFAR - National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center eyes Dagupan as a possible supplier of Red-Tide-free mussels seeds for distribution to different areas of the country. (mbpixs/red_tide_free_mussels_dagupan_city/10jun2015/jojo_rinoza) (Jojo Rinoza / MB FILE PHOTO)

These were Irong-irong Bay, Silanga Bay, San Pedro Bay in Samar, as well as Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City, Leyte.

BFAR 8 Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said the water samples collected in these bays tested positive for the Pyrodinium bahamense variety compressum.

It is a toxic microorganism that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) or 'red tide' based on the laboratory examination conducted by the Provincial Marine Biotoxin Laboratory.

"We are issuing this warning as a precautionary advice to the public. Fish, squid, crab and shrimp can be eaten but all entrails must be removed and washed thoroughly before cooking," he said.

Meanwhile, Albaladejo shared other coastal areas in Region 8 remained free from red tide microorganisms including Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; Maqueda Bay, Cambatutay Bay, Villareal Bays and Daram Island in Western Samar; Carigara Bay, the coastal waters of Calubian and Leyte in Leyte; and coastal waters of Biliran province.

Aside from regular issuance of red tide bulletin, the official said that BFAR and the local government units (LGUs) are continuously monitoring the said areas not only to safeguard public health, but also to protect the fishery industry.