THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has lifted the red tide warning that had been in force over the waters off Bataan, as well as parts of Western Samar such as Daram Island, Cambatutay, Irong-irong, Maqueda, and Villareal bays, and Leyte’s Carigara Bay.

In its 29th shellfish bulletin of 2020, BFAR declared that shellfish harvested in these areas are safe for human consumption.

It said however that specimens taken from Inner Malampaya Sound in Palawan have tested positive again for red tide contamination.

Inner Malampaya joins other areas for which red tide warnings remain raised, which include Honda and Puerto Princesa bays in Palawan; Milagros, Masbate; Sorsogon Bay, Sorsogon; Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol; and Tambobo Bay, Negros Oriental.

Other areas that are still red-tide positive are Zumarraga, Western Samar; Calubian and Cancabato Bay, Leyte; the Biliran Islands; Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Balite Bay, Davao Oriental; Lianga Bay and Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; and Dumanquillas Bay, Zamboanga del Sur.

The BFAR said all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang harvested from these areas are not safe for human consumption.

However, other marine species captured in these areas can be consumed by humans with proper handling.

Fish, squid, shrimp, and crab 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 BFAR said.

Red tide is the result of high concentrations of algae in the water.

Consuming contaminated shellfish can lead to paralytic shellfish poisoning, which affects the nervous system.

Typical symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning include headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Severe cases may include muscular paralysis and respiratory issues.Revin Mikhael D. Ochave