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Red tide hits DavOr, DavOc

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Davao Region has identified two provinces in Davao region to be affected by red tide.

In an advisory bulletin, Balite Bay in Mati City, Davao Oriental and coastal waters of Santa Maria in Davao Occidental are positive for red tide toxin.

Based on the latest laboratory results of the BFAR central office, shellfish and alamang “gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption.”

Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking, the advisory said.

BFAR regional director Fatma Idris said it is the first time a red tide phenomenon occurred in the waters of Santa Maria.

Idris said red tide regularly occurs during summer season in Balite Bay.

Eating shellfish with red tide can cause serious illness, especially for people with severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as emphysema or asthma.

BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona said the public is advised to refrain from eating, gathering or harvesting, transporting, and marketing shellfish from Coastal waters of Santa Maria in Davao Occidental until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory limit of 60 pgSTXeq/100g of shellfish meat.

He said the shellfish samples collected from the coastal waters of Santa Maria in Davao Occidental is positive for red tide with PSP toxin level reaching 177.18 pgSTXeq/100g.

“The BFAR and LGU are continuously monitoring coastal waters of Santa Maria to safeguard public health and to protect the fishery industry,” Gongona said.

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