TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)here in the region has stepped up its monitoring of harvesting and trading of shellfish from bays affected by red tide phenomenon.
The BFAR’s Fisheries Protection Law Enforcement Group confiscated on Thursday (August 31)P900 worth of mussels reportedly gathered from red tide affected Maqueda Bay in Samar province during an inspection at the public market in this city.
“We will be burying the seized mussels at the Coastal Resource Management Center BFAR in Diit village to avoid future harm,” said FPLEG head Reynato Galan.
The team also inspected landing areas and markets in Babatngon, Leyte, and Villarreal, Samar to prevent the selling of shellfish from affected bays. The fisheries bureau had set up FPLEG stations to monitor compliance with shellfish ban.
Identified as red tide positive are Matarinao Bay in Quinapondan, Salcedo, General McArthur, and Hernani, Eastern Samar; Irong-Irong Bay in Catbalogan City and Tarangnan, Samar; Maqueda Bay in Jiabong, Samar; Villareal Bay in Villareal, Samar; Carigara Bay in San Miguel, Barugo, Carigara, Capoocan, and Babatngon in Leyte; and coastal waters of Daram, Samar.
BFAR has tied up with the maritime police, Philippine Ports Authority, police public safety battalion, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority, and local government units to carry out an intensified fisheries checkpoint in the region.
The bureau reiterates its public advisory to refrain from eating, harvesting, marketing, and buying shellfishes and Acetes sp. from affected bays until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory level.
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,” according to BFAR.
Red tide is a term used to describe all phenomena which the water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae. The discoloration may not necessarily be red in color, but it may also appear yellow, brown, green, blue or milky, depending on the organisms involved. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO/PNA)