At 6 months now, red tide still as toxic

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    CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – The red tide plague off the coast of Bataan province has turned six months old and shows no sign of waning.

    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) issued anew yesterday an appeal to the public to refrain from gathering and eating shellfish from seven towns and one city along the coastal waters of Bataan.

    “Red tide toxin, which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning remains present in areas,” said Lanie Lamyong, information officer of the BFAR regional office.

    Affected by the ban are the municipalities of Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Abucay, Samal, and Orani and the city of Balanga, she said. “Based on the latest shellfi sh studies, the current red tide toxin level in shellfish samples collected from the coastal waters of Bataan is still significantly higher than the 60 grams per 200 grams tolerable limit,” Lamyong said.

    Lamyong reiterated, however, that fishes harvested from the Bataan coastal waters are safe to eat “for as long as they are fresh and washed thoroughly and their internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.”

    The red tide plaque was first reported in the Bataan waters in November last year and has not abated.

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