Shellfish safe to eat as Bicol remains red tide-free

By Connie Calipay

November 15, 2023, 7:38 pm

<p><em>(File photo courtesy of PTV)</em></p>

(File photo courtesy of PTV)

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol reported on Wednesday it has retained its red tide-free status in the past eight months based on the latest bulletin issued.

In an interview, Rowena Briones, BFAR-Bicol spokesperson, said laboratory testing results from the four bays and coastal waters show these are clear of toxic organisms as per the latest shellfish bulletin on Tuesday.

"The last time we had red tide in Milagros town in Masbate was March 11, 2023. By March 16, red tide-free. So, eight months na po kitang red tide free (we are red tide-free for eight months now)," Briones said.

She said the red tide monitoring areas in Bicol are the Sorsogon Bay, Juag Lagoon in Matnog, Sorsogon and the coastal waters of Milagros and Mandaon in Masbate.

"We are thankful that we are red tide-free especially since Christmas gatherings are coming, more food will be prepared. Harvested shellfish in the said areas are safe for human consumption. Gathering, harvesting and marketing shellfish are permitted," she added.

Briones said BFAR-Bicol regularly tests water samples to make sure shellfish are safe to eat.

"If seawater tests positive for red tide, samples are sent for thorough analysis at the national laboratory," she said.

Red tide is a phenomenon where water turns discolored due to high algal concentration. (PNA)