CITY OF SAN FERNANDO - After being banned for 100 days, shellfish from Bataan province and the whole of Central Luzon are now safe for consumption as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region III (BFAR-3) formally lifted the ban on Wednesday.
BFAR-3 Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz said that the shellfish ban imposed on November 17,2017 was lifted after the results of three consecutive monitoring activities conducted in the coastal waters of Bataan showed that shellfish meat from the region are already below the Philippine Regulatory Limit (PRL) of 60 microgram per 100 microgram level.
“Ito kasing mga shellfish natin sa Central Luzon, particularly in Orani, Bataan ay naapektuhan ng high tide organism at iyong highest level of toxicity na narecord natin ay umabot sa 4,000 micrograms, way higher sa allowed PRL kaya nag-anunsiyo kami agad ng ban on consumption (The shellfish in Central Luzon, particularly in Orani, Bataan were affected by high tide organism and the highest level of toxicity recorded reached 4,000 micrograms which is way higher than the allowed RPL which led us to announcing a ban on consumption of shellfish meat),” he said.
Cruz explained that the red tide that caused the sudden rise of shellfish micrograms was brought about by abrupt rainfall and pollution which added up to water fertility that breeds the high tide organisms.
But after several interventions conducted by BFAR, Cruz said that the samples gathered from the towns of Orani, Samal, Abucay, Pilar, Orion, Limay and Mariveles and the City of Balanga in Bataan on January 30, February 7 and February 13 showed Lukan (clams), Talaba (oyster) and Tahong (green mussels) were negative from paralytic shellfish poison.
Cruz announced that the gathering, harvesting, marketing of shellfishes from Bataan and the whole region are now permitted and its consumption is safe for public.
“Ngayon po ay bukas na ulit ang merkado para sa shellfish mula Central Luzon at sinisiguro po namin na ligtas na po ang muling pagkain niyo dahil officially pong lifted na ang shellfish ban (The market is now open for the selling of shellfish from Central Luzon and BFAR assures the public that shellfish from Central Luzon are now safe for human consumption),” he said.
Cruz, meanwhile, assured the public that it will continue to perform its mandate of monitoring the situation of fish and other water organisms in the coastal areas of Central Luzon.