Karl R. Ocampo

The red tide scourge has now struck the coastal waters of Biliran province, bringing the affected areas in the country to seven, according to the latest bulletin from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Laboratory results from BFAR and local governments showed Irong-Irong Bay in Western Samar; coastal waters of Leyte and Carigara Bay in Leyte; Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur; Honday Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; and coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate still positive for paralytics shellfish poison beyond the regulatory limit.

Red tide is also called the harmful algal bloom phenomenon, referring to the unusual growth of colonies of toxic and non-toxic algae in the water, some of which produce toxins that harm certain types of sea life, according to BFAR.

Although red tides may be harmless, it can possibly cause human illnesses that can be debilitating or even fatal.

The agency issued an advisory saying all kinds of shellfish and krill-like prawns from an area under red tide alert must not be harvested, sold, or eaten.

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