TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte,(PIA) – Villareal and Maqueda bays in Samar are now positive of red tide toxin based on the latest laboratory results of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

This now brings to seven coastal waters/bays in Eastern Visayas to test positive for paralytic shellfish poison with the last week’s results of shellfish samples confirming presence of red tide toxin in five areas in the region.

Red tide toxins remain positive in the coastal waters of Daram Island, Irong-Irong bay and Cambatutay bay, all in Samar; coastal waters of Naval in Biliran; and Carigara bay in Leyte.

Director Asis Perez advised the public to refrain from eating, gathering or harvesting, transporting and marketing of shellfish and “alamang” from these areas as they are not safe to eat, however, fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly with internal organs such as gills and intestines removed before cooking.

A more recent local red tide warning from BFAR Regional Office 8 revealed that water samples collected along the coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte are positive also of toxic microorganisms that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.

While waiting for the results of the confirmatory test of shellfish samples sent to BFAR laboratory in Manila, Regional Director Juan Albaladejo issued warning to the public to also refrain from gathering, selling and eating shellfishes and “alamang” from the coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte.

Meanwhile, Matarinao bay in Eastern Samar, San Pedro bay and Cancabato bay in Leyte remain free from toxic red tide.

BFAR and the local government unit concerned are continuously monitoring affected waters to safeguard public health and to protect the fishery industry. (PIA-8)