Red tide in the bay of Cancabato; the toxin remains in 5 other berries

CRIMSON TIDE. Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City in this undated photo. Six weeks after being declared free from a red tide, the phenomenon recurred in Cancabato Bay, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources reported on Tuesday (August 10, 2021). (Photo courtesy of Noel Castillo)

CITY OF TACLOBAN – The red tide phenomenon has reappeared in Cancabato Bay in this city while toxins remain in five other bays in the region this week, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported on Tuesday.

BFAR regional director Juan Albaladejo said the runoff of pollutants in the waterways contributed to the recurrence of the red tide in Cancabato Bay, a rich source of cockles shipped to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

“The pollutants that feed the river systems up to the siltation of the inner bay make it prone to red tide events, because the cyst of the microorganism hibernates in Cancabato with the previous appearance of the red tide and does not wait only favorable conditions for flowering. This is further compounded by climate change, ”Albaladejo told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The red tide reappeared in Cancabato Bay just weeks after it was declared red tide free on June 25, according to BFAR.

The BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Marine Biotoxin Laboratory in that city found the waters of the Cancabato sea to be positive for Pyrodinium Bahamense, a toxic microorganism causing paralyzing shellfish poisoning (PSP).

Aside from Cancabato Bay, the red tide alert is also active in Carigara Bay in Babatngon, San Miguel, Barugo, Carigara and Capoocan in Leyte; San Pedro Bay in Basey, Samar; the bay of Matarinao in the towns of General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan and Salcedo in eastern Samar; and coastal waters Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The recurrence of the red tide in the area prompted BFAR to intensify its surveillance in other bays for a possible spread of the red tide.

Fish, squid, crab and shrimp harvested in these areas are safe to eat provided all entrails are removed and washed thoroughly under running water before cooking.

BFAR has called on local government units to step up vigilance against collecting, trading and consuming shellfish to prevent the incidence of PSP.

PSP occurs during the ingestion of bivalve molluscs (such as mussels, oysters and clams) that contain red tide toxins.

Red tide is a term used to describe a phenomenon where water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae. (ANP)

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