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Capiz closely monitors red tide

ROXAS CITY, Capiz (PIA) -- The personnel of the Capiz Agri-Aqua Laboratory have been closely monitoring the developments of the Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) affecting the coastal waters of the province since mid-August.

“Every week we send meat samples of shellfish collected from the coastal areas to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for them to check the level of toxicity," said Office of the Provincial Agriculturist – Fisheries Division acting head Ramie Lyn Bañares.

Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring in the coastal towns. (File photo from Florie May Castro)

She added that the laboratory is only capable of a weekly microscopic analysis of water samples from the coastal areas to determine if positive or negative from Pyrodinium bahamense variety compressum.

Bañares, who is also a member of the team, noted that the frontliners of the established Red Tide Monitoring Team of the OPA which is composed of, among others, aquaculturists and field personnel, carry out the weekly routine of finding out the physical parameters like acidity, salinity, oxygen level, and temperature of water aside from the collection of shellfish for meat samples.

The BFAR, in its Shellfish Bulletin No. 26 issued last Nov. 10, announced that the coastal waters of Roxas City and the municipalities of Ivisan, Sapian, Panay, 

Pilar, and President Roxas in Capiz are affected by the toxic red tide based on the OPA provided meat samples.

“All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the areas shown above are not safe for human consumption,” said BFAR Director lawyer Demosthenes R. Escoto.

He added that fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

BFAR Shellfish Bulletin No. 26 issued on Nov. 10, 2023.

Pilar town Public Information Officer Chris Anthony Alba said that green shells in the municipality’s coastal water have grown in size but the owners still could not harvest it.

The onset of red tide toxin last August this year was first reported in Pilar town because of the 32 PSP suspected cases, which include one death, from the locality as well as Pontevedra town and Roxas City.

The identified cases manifested numbness, vomiting, dizziness, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, among others, after eating green mussels or tahong.

Gov. Fredenil Castro, in an official statement, has advised the general public to temporarily abstain from gathering, harvesting, transporting, selling, and consuming any type of shellfish to avoid PSP–related food poisoning cases.

Pres. Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. led the distribution of a 25-kilogram of rice to each of 1,000 red tide-affected families in the city last Oct. 6, in the Capiz Gymnasium of the Villareal Stadium, here.

The provincial government has also distributed family food packs to the fisherfolk in the municipalities, following the red tide contamination in August this year and sometime in 2022.  (AGP/AAL/PIA Capiz)

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