San Pedro Bay in Samar province declared red tide-free

San Pedro Bay in Samar province declared red tide-free

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) announced that San Pedro Bay in Samar province is now free from red tide after a three-month infestation.

TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) confirmed that San Pedro Bay in Samar province has finally been cleared of red tide infestation after over three months. The BFAR conducted extensive sampling in the seawaters of Basey and Marabut towns in Samar province, which consistently yielded negative results for the toxin responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

The positive outcome prompted BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Hannibal Chavez to declare the safety of shellfish samples harvested from San Pedro Bay, assuring the public that they are now suitable for human consumption. Consequently, gathering, harvesting, and marketing shellfish from the area are now permitted, bringing a sigh of relief to local fishermen and seafood enthusiasts.

With the latest confirmed laboratory sampling conducted by the BFAR main office, Shellfish Bulletin No. 16 ensures that all bays in Eastern Visayas are now free from red tide contamination. This news is a significant development for the region, indicating improved water quality and a resumption of regular fishing and trading activities.

However, the BFAR regional office issued a red tide advisory specific to Matarinao Bay, urging caution in harvesting, trading, and consuming shellfish from the area. The risk of paralytic shellfish poisoning remains, as the bay's waters may contain red tide toxins. 

The advisory covers the coastal waters of General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar. Regional Director Hannibal Chavez emphasized the importance of safeguarding human lives and advised the public to refrain from gathering, selling, and consuming all types of shellfishes and Acetes sp. (locally known as alamang or hipon) from Matarinao Bay.

While awaiting confirmation from the BFAR central office laboratory, the field office in Samar continues to monitor the situation closely. Lifting the shellfish ban in most areas of the region does not imply complacency. The BFAR remains vigilant and regularly checks coastal waters for potential red tide recurrences.

Coastal waters in various locations, including Daram and Zumarraga in Samar, Guiuan in Eastern Samar, Leyte, Calubian, Ormoc, Sogod, Carigara Bay, and Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City, as well as the coastal waters of Biliran Island, undergo regular water sample checks due to their historical red tide occurrences in previous years. (Source: PNA)

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