The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has raised anew a red tide alert in Honda Bay. Puerto Princesa residents are warned against consuming shellfish sourced from the area.
In its shellfish bulletin released Wednesday, December 6, the bureau confirmed Honda Bay as “now positive for red tide toxin.” It was last declared as red tide-positive last July.
Also covered by the red tide warning was Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay town.
“All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the abovementioned areas are not safe for human consumption,” according to BFAR.
The advisory, however, clarified that “fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption, provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.”
According to BFAR’s Fisheries Resources Management Division, red tide is “a coastal phenomenon in which the water is discolored by high algal biomass or concentration of algae.”
When the affected marine products are eaten, the poison “immediately affects the nervous system,” and symptoms usually occur within 30 minutes.
Initial reactions include tingling, first in the lips and tongue, spreading to the face, neck, fingertips, and toes. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and nausea.
In severe cases, people may experience muscular paralysis and respiratory difficulty within 5 to 12 hours. “Fatalities from respiratory paralysis have been reported,” the division added.
Puerto Princesa Bay had been declared red tide-free two weeks ago, after months of having included in the country’s red tide list.
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