Red tide alert up in DavOr, DavOcc

Raul C. Millana, chief of BFAR-11’s Fisheries Production and Support Services Division, and BFAR-Davao chemistry laboratory regional head Maria Loida Avorque. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/8 April) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-11 has warned against eating shellfish harvested from the waters of Santa Maria, Davao Occidental and Balete Bay in Mati City, Davao Oriental due to the presence of red tide toxins.

Raul C. Millana, chief of BFAR-11’s Fisheries Production and Support Services Division, told reporters on Monday that consumption of shellfish from these two coastal areas was highly discouraged after the agency discovered high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in samples drawn from Santa Maria and Balite Bay were high.

He said they would conduct weekly red tide monitoring activities to update the consumers on the red tide, also known as algal bloom, which occurs when there is a large concentration of aquatic microorganisms called “dinoflagellates and the bloom takes on red or brown color.”

He said BFAR has yet to determine what triggered the red tide in these areas in the testing scheduled this week.

Millana said fish and squids harvested from these areas remain fit for human consumption, provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly and their internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

He also advised consumers to avoid eating “aligue” in crabs and remove the head of the shrimps before consuming them.

Aside from the coastal areas of Santa Maria and Mati City, the BFAR also found that shellfish drawn from San Pedro in Western Visayas; Lianga Bay in Surigao Del Sur, and coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran in Bohol had high PSP levels that were beyond the tolerable limit. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)