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BFAR raises red tide alert over Tacloban’s Cancabato Bay

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TACLOBAN CITY — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has imposed a shellfish ban in this city’s Cancabato Bay due to the recurrence of the red tide bloom.

BFAR found the red tide toxin in both shellfish meat and seawater of Cancabato Bay after a series of laboratory analysis.

BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said in a mobile phone interview on Wednesday that the presence of red tide in both meat and water calls for the prohibition of gathering, trading, and consumption of shellfish from Cancabato over the possibility of shellfish poisoning.

He told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the mixing of warm and cold water due to sudden heavy rains triggered the phenomenon.

This is the second red tide recurrence in Cancabato this year with the first recorded in early February.

BFAR conducts weekly monitoring of seawater in bays hit by red tide in the past, but for positive areas, authorities examine water and meat samples three times weekly.

The fisheries bureau advised the public to refrain from eating, harvesting, selling, and buying shellfish products and Acetes sp. (small shrimps) from the affected bay until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down and the authority will lift the shellfish ban.

Fish caught in these areas are safe for human consumption provided that these are fresh, washed, and cooked thoroughly, according to the BFAR advisory. (PNA)