THE BUREAU of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) announced that areas in Leyte and Negros Oriental are officially free from red tide contamination.   

BFAR said in its 19th bulletin that shellfish harvested in Cancabato Bay, Leyte and Tambobo Bay, Negros Oriental are safe for human consumption following results of water testing in these areas.

However, BFAR said the areas of Milagros, Masbate; Sorsogon Bay, Sorsogon; Dumanquillas Bay, Zamboanga del Sur; and Murcielagos Bay, Misamis Occidental have recently tested positive for red tide or paralytic shellfish poison.   

Red tide warnings are also still up in Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol; Daram Island, Cambatutay Bay and Irong-irong Bay, Western Samar; Calubian, Leyte; Murcielagos Bay, Zamboanga del Norte; Balite Bay, Davao Oriental; and Lianga Bay and Bislig Bay, Surigao del Sur.    

All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang coming from areas with red tide warnings are unfit for human consumption. Other marine species sourced in the same areas can still be eaten with proper handling.

Red tide occurs as a result of high concentrations of algae in the water. Human consumption of contaminated shellfish may result in paralytic shellfish poisoning, which affects the nervous system.

Typical symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning are headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Severe cases may cause muscular paralysis and respiratory problems. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave