Red tide alert up in Ilocos region

LAOAG CITY — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has alerted consumers of possible red tide contamination traced in the waters of Anda and Bolinao in Pangasinan.

Arthur Valente of the Provincial Agriculture Office here relayed this information on Monday to concerned authorities to strictly monitor the entry of shellfish and dried shrimp fry in the province particularly those that come from Pangasinan.

According to Valente, quarantine officers and other concerned market officials should demand for “auxiliary invoice” or “clearance for domestic movement” from fish and seashell transporters or dealers to ensure that the marine products did not come from Bolinao and Anda towns.

In Ilocos Norte, most of the shellfish supply in the market come from Manila Bay but there could also be shipments from the said affected province.

All types of shellfish and “alamang” or krill that come from the affected municipal waters are not safe for human consumption because of the paralytic shellfish poison. Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe to eat provided they are fresh, washed thoroughly and their internal organs are removed before cooking.

Red tide is a naturally occurring, higher-than-normal concentration of the micros-copic algae Karenia brevis.

It produces a toxin that affects the central nervous system of fish, causing paralysis and difficulty of breathing and making them unfit for human consumption.