Eight coastal areas in 6 provinces have been found to be positive for red tide, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said on Sunday.
Shellfish Bulletin No. 13 dated May 1 revealed results of laboratory tests indicated that shellfish collected from these areas are positive for paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) or toxic red tide that is beyond the regulatory limit.
These areas are Puerto Princesa Bay, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan; coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol; Tambobo Bay, Siaton in Negros Oriental; coastal waters of Calubian in Leyte; Balite Bay, Mati City in Davao Oriental; and Lianga Bay and coastal waters of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur.
Moreover, Bislig Bay in Surigao del Sur is now positive for PSP.
The BFAR said all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the areas are not safe for human consumption.
As such, BFAR urged the public not to gather, transport, sell and consume shellfish in the said areas.
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.
Eating shellfish products with red tide can cause paralytic shellfish poisoning, an illness which can cause death. Early symptoms of PSP include tingling of the lips and tongue, which may begin within minutes of eating poisonous shellfish or may take an hour or two to develop.
Depending upon the amount of toxin a person has ingested, symptoms may progress to tingling of fingers and toes and then loss of control of arms and legs, followed by difficulty in breathing. If a person consumes enough poison, the muscles of the chest and abdomen become paralyzed. Death can result in as little as two hours, as muscles used for breathing become paralyzed.