The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has issued a stern warning against the consumption of shellfish harvested from red tide positive bays in the region amid a deemed shortage in food supply due to ongoing health crisis.
BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo, said with the movement restrictions imposed by local governments, affecting livelihood activities, people in coastal communities may resort to the gathering of shellfish even in areas with the red tide bloom.
Albaladejo reminded the public the shellfish bulletin is still up in Ormoc Bay in Ormoc City, Merida and Albuera in Leyte province; coastal waters of Calubian, Leyte; and Matarinao Bay in General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar province.
“The public is still advised to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating all types of shellfishes and Acetes sp. locally known as alamang or hipon from these three bays,” Albaladejo said.
Fish, squid, shrimp, and crab are safe to eat “provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking”, BFAR said.
Local government units have been asked to regulate gathering, marketing and transporting of shellfish in infested areas despite strengthened efforts to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Red tide is a term used to describe a phenomenon where the water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae.
The transition from cold to the dry season has triggered the red tide phenomenon in some areas in the region. (PNA)