SURFING IN THE CITY. The city of Borongan is now fast emerging as a surfing haven in the country. It just hosted the Surf City Borongan Masters 2023, the 4th leg of the NextGen Pilipinas Surfing National.

TACLOBAN CITY– Red tide toxin has affected four major bays in Eastern Visayas as the regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) issued a warning to the public to refrain from selling or eating shrimps or ‘alamang.’

In an advisory, BFAR identified the affected areas as the coastal waters of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Cambatutay Bay in Samar, particularly in the town of Tarangnan; Irong-Irong Bay in Catbalogan City, Samar; and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar in the municipalities of General MacArthur, Quinapondan, Hernani, and Salcedo.

“Seawater samples collected from these bays and coastal waters are positive of Pyrodinium bahamense, a toxic microorganism that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP),” BFAR said in a statement.

The BFAR, however, clarified that while it issued a local red tide advisory, there is no shellfish ban in the region.

“(Still), the public is hereby advised to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating all types of shellfishes and Acetes sp., locally known as ‘alamang’ or ‘hipon’ from these areas,” it said.

BFAR said that fish, squids, shrimps and crabs sourced from the identified coastal waters and bays are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and their internal organs such as gills, and intestines are removed before cooking.

Meantime, bays and coastal waters in the region are free from the red tide toxin.
These are the coastal waters of Daram, Zumarraga, and Calbayog City; San Pedro Bay, Maqueda Bay, and Villareal Ba, all in Samar; coastal waters of Leyte, Calubian, Ormoc City, Carigara Bay, Cancabato Bay in Tacloban; all in Leyte; Sogod Bay in Southern Leyte; and the coastal water of Biliran.

Red tide is a phenomenon caused by algal blooms which discolor coastal waters.

It happens when there is an overgrowth of algae which causes the color of water to turn red, green, or brown. Some of these algae produce toxic chemicals, contaminating the shellfish that consume them.