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Red tide returns in San Pedro Bay, Samar

Red tide returns in San Pedro Bay, Samar

 The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources announced the return of red tide in San Pedro Bay, Samar province, due to the runoff of pollutants from the upland to the sea. Photo: San Pedro Bay

TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) confirmed that red tide, a harmful algal bloom that produces toxins causing paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans, has returned to San Pedro Bay. A shellfish meat sample collected from Basey town tested positive for PSP toxin.

BFAR issued a local shellfish bulletin on March 10, clearing San Pedro Bay of red tide, and allowing the public to resume gathering, selling, and eating shellfish and "acetes" or "alamang." However, last week, heavy rainfall from the northeast monsoon caused polluted runoff from the uplands to the sea, fertilizing the red tide cyst.

The public is warned not to consume any shellfish, "acetes" or "alamang" from San Pedro Bay until further notice. 

BFAR emphasizes that while the presence of red tide in San Pedro Bay poses a significant threat to public health, there are still alternative options for seafood consumption that remain safe. The department encourages the public to continue enjoying fish, squid, shrimp, and crabs caught in the area, provided that they are fresh and have undergone proper preparation before cooking.

Red tide is a natural phenomenon that causes the water in coastal areas to turn red or brown, releasing toxins that can accumulate in shellfish and cause PSP in humans. PSP causes tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue, and extremities, headache, dizziness, and nausea. It can cause respiratory paralysis and death in severe cases. 

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has taken on the responsibility of safeguarding public health by conducting consistent and systematic analyses of water samples through its well-equipped regional laboratory. 

This proactive measure guarantees the safety of shellfish products and minimizes potential health risks associated with their consumption. —iTacloban (Source: BFAR/PNA)

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