TACLOBAN CITY– The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Eastern Visayas reported that several bays in Samar and Eastern Samar provinces have been detected to have the red tide toxins.

However, despite of the presence of the toxin, BFAR has not raised any shellfish ban.
Based on their advisory issued on Tuesday (Oct.24), these bays have been found to be positive of the Pyrodinium bahamense, the toxic microorganism that causes the paralytic shellfish poisoning, based on the water samples.

These are Maqueda Bay which covers the towns of Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, San Sebastian, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, and Hinabangan, all in Samar; Cambatutay Bay which covers the town of Tarangan, also in Samar; San Pedro Bay, particularly in Basey, Samar; the coastal waters of Calbayog City in Samar; Irong-Irong Bay in Catbalogan City, Samar; and Matarinao Bay involving the towns of General MacArthur, Quinapondan, Hernani, and Salcedo towns, all in Eastern Samar.

The BFAR advises the public to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating all types of shellfish and Acetes sp., locally known as ‘alamang’ or ‘hipon’ from these areas.
However, fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and their internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

Last October 15, a family consisting of seven individuals from Pagsanghan town, Samar fell ill after eating tahong.

Two members of the family, a nine-year-old girl and her six-year-old sibling, later died while being treated in a medical facility.

It was learned that most of the tahong being sold in Pagsanghan is sourced from San Sebastian where there is a red tide alert.(JOEY A. GABIETA)