BFAR: Refrain from eating, gathering, selling shellfish from Baroy

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 07 November) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) wants the public to refrain from gathering,  selling and eating shellfish from the coastal waters of Baroy, Lanao del Norte as it has been found to be positive for Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) or toxic red tide beyond the regulatory limit.

“To avoid PSP, the public is advised  to refrain from eating, gathering  or harvesting, transporting or marketing  shellfish from Baroy until such time that toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory limit of 60 STX eq/100 gm of shellfish meat,” said Eduardo Gongona, BFAR National Director.

Red tide toxin level in samples collected from the area is presently at 188.60 STX eq/100 gm of shellfish meat.

But Gongona stressed that fish harvested from Baroy is safe for human consumption provided that the harvested fish is fresh and  washed thoroughly and its gills and internal organs and intestines are removed before cooking.

Noel Saldajeno  BFAR Lanao del Norte Provincial Director on Saturday said BFAR and the local government of Baroy are conducting foot patrol to determine if there are people gathering or selling shells, to safeguard public health and protect the shellfish industry.

“We are also monitoring the adjacent coastal villages of Camalan, Pacita, Darumawang Ilaya and  Darumawang Bukana  all of Lala if there are  indicators of red tide but so far there is no validated information,” Saldajeno said.

Based on BFAR shellfish  Bulletin No. 29 issued on November 5, 14 areas in the country have tested positive of red tide, three of them in Mindanao: in Baroy, Dumanquilas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur and Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur.  (Richel V. Umel / MindaNews)