Red tide still in Balite Bay

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 11 Regional Director Fatma announced that the Red Tide warning on shellfish in the coastal waters of Santa Maria in Davao Occidental is now lifted. (Lyka Casamayor)

WHILE there is already a lifting order for red tide warning in the coastal waters of Sta. Maria in Davao Occidental, Balite Bay in Mati City, Davao Oriental remains positive for red tide toxin.

"Negative na po ang ating red tide bulletin sa Santa Maria. Wala na pong ikakabahala ang ating mga shellfish or tahong raisers and culturists doon," Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Davao Regional Director Fatma Idris said on Monday, May 20.

"Right now, we still maintain regular monitoring in the coastal waters of Sta. Maria so we are assured that per shellfish bulletin, safe to eat na ang mga shellfish from that area," she added.

However, Idris said shellfish harvested in Balite Bay are unfortunately still not safe for human consumption as per the result of their regular monitoring and laboratory testing.

BFAR-Davao continued to warn the public to avoid consuming shellfish from the affected area despite no reports of individuals affected by the toxins.

Last month, BFAR-Davao issued a red tide advisory in the two areas as their laboratory results have shown that shellfish and Acetes or alamang gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption as there was high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in samples drawn in the areas.

As part of their interventions, aside from regular monitoring, BFAR is now assuring the accreditation of shellfish raisers to avoid another carrier of red tide toxins.

"Careful kami ngayon sa mga nag-aalaga ng tahong or other shellfish kasi kapag hindi accredited at hindi ma-check baka may madalang spot na carrier na pala. Before kasi massive ang distribution ng tahong sa region kasi wala pang spot but nung dumating, nag decline," she said.

In the data provided by BFAR-Davao, the total damage of green mussel (tahong) production was about 127,850 kilograms in Davao Occidental as of April 22, affecting over 100 mussel growers and 209 families relying their livelihood in gathering shellfish.

Mati City, however, has not yet submitted consolidated reports on damages.

Idris said the changing season or the El Niño hitting the country now may have triggered the red tide in these areas.


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