THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has imposed shellfish ban in two bays and several municipal waters in Leyte, Samar and Biliran provinces.
BFAR found the red tide bloom in bays and some coastal waters in the region through laboratory analysis on November 19.
The presence of red tide calls for prohibition in the gathering, trading and consumption of shellfish from identified areas.
Tagged as red tide positive are Cambatutay Bay in Samar; Carigara Bay in Leyte; municipal waters of Naval, Caibiran, Culaba, Kawayan, and Cabucgayan in Biliran; and coastal waters of Daram and Villareal in Samar province.
Fishes caught in these areas are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh, washed and cooked thoroughly, according to BFAR’s advisory.
The BFAR, however, is still waiting for the result of confirmatory test of shellfish meat gathered in the municipal waters of Biliran and Samar.
“To safeguard human lives while waiting for the results of confirmatory tests of shellfish samples sent to BFAR central office, we are issuing this warning as a precautionary advice to the public to refrain from gathering, trading and consumption of shellfish from affected areas,” said BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo.
Bays previously hit by red tide that are now free of toxins are Cancabato Bay (Tacloban City in Leyte), San Pedro Bay (Palo and Tanauan in Leyte), Ormoc Bay (Ormoc City, Albuera and Merida in Leyte), Sogod Bay (Sogod, Southern Leyte), Villareal Bay (Villareal, Samar), and Maqueda Bay (Jiabong, Samar).
The fisheries bureau has stepped up water sampling activities in affected areas to ensure safety of shellfish consumers. (PNA)