Cebu City – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR Region 7) advises the public to be wary from gleaning shellfishes, locally known as “kinhason,” in Tambobo Bay and Bais Bay in Negros Oriental.
BFAR Region 7 Director Dr. Allan Poquita asks the nearby communities to refrain from harvesting, buying, selling or eating any type of shellfish in these areas.
He said these are unsafe for consumption, except for fresh fishes, shrimps, squid and crabs that may be eaten if washed thoroughly. The gills and intestines of fishes must be removed before cooking, he adds.
BFAR’s recent laboratory results from Manila confirmed that the samples taken from these areas are found with “paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) that is beyond the regulatory limit.” Initial PSP testing were made in Negros Oriental.
Dr. Florencia Mepaña, Negros Oriental Provincial Fishery Officer, said the office is closely coordinating with the provincial government especially in monitoring regularly the major bays, rivers and other shellfish sites in the province.
She said further the concerned local government units are already guarding the area to ensure the safety of the consuming public.
The two Negros Oriental bays are added to the list of existing red tide-affected areas in the country that include the coastal waters of neighboring Dauis town and Tagbilaran City in Bohol province.
To note, red tide is the common term used to describe a coastal phenomenon wherein water is discoloured by high algal biomass or concentration of algae.
Red tide blooms are commonly caused by environmental conditions such as the intensity of sunlight; and the change in water temperature, salinity, and nutrient levels.
Shellfishes are actually unaffected by red tide however they accumulate the toxin in their bodies. A person, who will eat contaminated shellfish, might be poisoned.
If so, vomiting should be induced and the person must be brought to the hospital for immediate treatment.