The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has alerted the public against selling and eating of shellfish gathered from Tagbilaran City and the town of Dauis due to red tide.
According to BFAR officer-in-charge Leo Bongalos, an advisory was issued yesterday to the affected local government units, warning them that seas in their areas tested positive of the harmful algae.
“Tungod na sa organic deposit gikan sa upland nga nagkadaghan nga makapa-enhance sa algae nga maoy tawgon nga algal bloom,” said Bongalos.
Wastes, dead leaves and topsoil, he added, may have been flushed to the affected waters, causing the buildup of organic deposits that led to the unusual growth of toxic and non-toxic colonies of algae.
According to Bongalos, shellfish toxicity in the Dauis and Tagbilaran waters were recorded at 102 micrograms saxitoxin per 100 grams of shellfish meat, surpassing the regulatory limit of 60 ugSTXeg per 100 grams of shellfish meat, based on specimen submitted to a laboratory.
Consumption of shellfish may lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning, he added.
However, Bongalos noted that fish caught in the affected areas can still be eaten, but with caution.
“Ang isda diha makaon nato na pero atong kuhaan og tinai, hasang ug kanang naa sa sud sa ginhawaan unya hugasan nato sa running water, kanang gikan sa gripo, dili sa planggana,” he said.
The BFAR did not make projections on when the red tide advisory will be lifted.
Bongalos said that the BFAR has been monitoring the seawaters surrounding Tagbilaran City and Dauis weekly ever since these were hit with red tide several times in the past.
“Sa ubang mga lugar, kasagaran, mo balik gyud gihapon once ma-igo na,” he said.
In November 2016, waters off Dauis and Tagbilaran were listed as red tide-affected areas and were only cleared in April, 2017. (A. Doydora)