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BFAR issues red tide warning over Biliran, Western Samar, Zamboanga del Norte

THE BUREAU of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) warned consumers from eating shellfish harvested from Biliran Island and areas in Western Samar, Leyte, and Zamboanga del Norte after testing positive for paralytic shellfish poison or red tide.

In its 14th shellfish bulletin, BFAR issued new red tide warnings in Daram Island, Zumarraga, Cambatutay Bay and Villareal Bay, all in Western Samar; the town of Leyte, Carigara Bay, Ormoc Bay, and Cancabato Bay in Leyte; Murcielagos Bay, Zamboanga del Norte; and around the Biliran Islands.

Red tide warnings are also still up in Puerto Princesa Bay, Palawan; Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol; Tambobo Bay, Negros Oriental; Calubian, Leyte; Balite Bay, Davao Oriental; and Lianga Bay, Bislig Bay, and Hinatuan, in Surigao del Sur.

All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang sourced from the red tide affected parts are unsafe for human consumption. However, other marine species harvested within the said areas can be eaten with proper handling.

Red tide occurs due to 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 include headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Severe cases may include muscular paralysis and respiratory issues. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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