TACLOBAN CITY – Red tide bloom has recurred in San Pedro Bay in Samar province seven months after it was declared toxin-free, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported on Tuesday.
BFAR Eastern Visayas regional head Juan Albaladejo said the recurrence of red tide in the bay in Basey, Samar can be attributed to its “shallow part of bay causing interplay of warm and cold weather.”
“This triggers the red tide causing dinoflagellates cyst to migrate to (the) water surface and expose to accompanying sediments laden with organic matter. It fertilizes the microorganism causing red tide,” Albaladejo said in a text message.
Last Feb. 7, the shellfish ban was lifted in San Pedro Bay as heavy rains, strong water currents, and cold weather dispersed red tide organisms.
San Pedro Bay in the coastal waters of Basey and Marabut towns in Samar is a rich source of shellfish in the southern part of Samar Island.
In its latest advisory, the red tide also remains in Matarinao Bay in the towns of General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar, and the coastal waters of Guiuan in Eastern Samar province.
“We have been issuing 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 the said bay,” Albaladejo added.
Fish, squid, crab, and shrimp gathered from these areas are safe to eat provided that all entrails are removed and washed thoroughly with running water before cooking.
The BFAR asked local government units to heighten their watch against the gathering, trading, and consumption of shellfish to prevent the incidence of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).
PSP occurs from ingesting bivalve shellfish, such as mussels, oysters, and clams that contain red tide toxins.
Red tide is a term used to describe a phenomenon where the water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae. (PNA)