THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Visayas (BFAR 7) has advised the public to be wary of gleaning shellfish, locally known as “kinhason,” in Tambobo Bay and Bais Bay in Negros Oriental.
BFAR 7 Director Allan Poquita asked 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 fish, shrimps, squid and crabs that may be eaten if washed thoroughly. The gills and intestines of fish must also be removed before cooking, he added.
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 was done in Negros Oriental.
Florencia Mepaña, Negros Oriental Provincial Fishery officer, said the office is closely coordinating with the provincial government especially in regularly monitoring the major bays, rivers and other shellfish sites in the province.
She said 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 red tide-affected areas in the country that include the coastal waters of neighboring Dauis town and Tagbilaran City in Bohol province.
Red tide, BFAR said, is the common term used to describe a coastal phenomenon wherein water is discolored 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.
Shellfish are unaffected by red tide, but they accumulate the toxin in their bodies. A person can be poisoned by eating these contaminated shellfish.
If so, vomiting should be induced and the person must be brought to the hospital for immediate treatment. (WBS with PR)