CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Bataan fish after the meat-laden Christmas Noche Buena, yes. Shellfish, still a big no.
This advisory was again repeated yesterday by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) amid the results of its latest tests showing that shellfish gathered off the coasts of Balanga City and seven other towns in Bataan are still contaminated with fatal red tide toxins.
“Our appeal to the public to refrain from gathering and eating shellfish from seven towns and one city in Bataan remains in effect,” BFAR said in its advisory.
It stressed that “red tide toxin causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.”
Still plagued by red tide are the coastal areas of the municipalities of Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Abucay, Samal and Orani and Balanga City.
BFAR Central Luzon Information Officer Lanie Lamyong said the latest tests done on shellfish samples gathered from the areas indicated red tide toxin levels “significantly higher than the 60g STXg/100g tolerable limit.”
However, Lamyong again reiterated 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.
But all forms of shellfish gathered in the said areas should not be harvested as they could be fatal when eaten.
BFAR is expected to do another tests on shellfish and issue another advisory before New Year’s day.
Shellfishes are used as ingredients in some dishes, such as paella, which are commonly served during the Christmas holidays.