TACLOBAN CITY-The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Eastern Visayas has issued a warning for the public not to eat, collect, or sell all types of shellfish as it issued a red tide alert covering two major bays.

In a local red tide advisory released on Monday (Dec.10) and Monday (Dec.11) respectively, the BFAR said that the presence of Pyrodinium bahamense, a toxic microorganism that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) was detected in San Pedro Bay in Basey, Samar, and Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City, Leyte.

“To safeguard human lives, we are issuing this warning as a precautionary advice to the public to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating, all types of shellfish and Acetes sp., locally known as alamang or hipon from Cancabato Bay and San Pedro Bay to avoid possible shellfish poisoning,” it said.

The BFAR also said that eating squid, crab, fish, and shrimp gathered from these two bays are safe to eat provided that they are fresh, and all entrails are removed and washed thoroughly with running water before cooking.

It added that together with the local government units concerned, they are closely monitoring the affected areas ‘to safeguard public health and to protect the shellfish industry.’