BFAR warns Bohol of shellfish poisoning
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, on Monday, warned Boholanos of possible shellfish poisoning from shellfishes gathered from Dawis and Tagbilaran City coastal waters in the province of Bohol.
The Bureau issued Shellfish Bulletin No. 14 series of 2017 stating the shellfishes from the said localities in Bohol have tested positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.
Agriculture Undersecretary and Fisheries Bureau director Eduardo B. Gongona said even shrimp fry or “alamang” in the vernacular, gathered from the mentioned places are not safe for human consumption.
Other seafoods, though, like fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for eating provided these are washed thoroughly and cooked well with internal organs like gills and intestines removed during preparation.
Further, the Bureau announced that the following areas remain safe from red tide: the coastal waters of Cavite, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Navotas, Bulacan and Bataan; Manila Bay; the coastal waters of Mandaon in Masbate; Juag Lagoon in Matnog and Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon; Honda and Puerto Princesa Bays in Puerto Princesa City and Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay, Palawan;
Coastal waters of Higantes Islands in Carles, Iloilo; coastal waters of Pilar, Panay, President Roxas of Roxas City in Capiz and Sapian Bay; Altaves, Batan and New Washington in Batan Bay; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; Cambatutay, Maqueda, Irong-Irong, Villareal Bay, Aldan and Daramm Island in Western Samar; San Pedro, Carigera and Cancabato Bays in Tacloban City; and the coastal eaters of Calubian and Leyte in Leyte;
Coastal waters of Biliran Province; Dumaguillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Tantanang Bay in Zamboanga Sibugay; Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental; Taguines Lagoon in Benani, Mahinog, Camiguin Island; Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; Hinatuan, Bislig and Uanga Bays in Surigao del Sur.
The Bureau also announced that the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate is free of red tide.
In a related development, in General Santos City, fishermen recovered before dawn Monday a huge oarfish near the shores of Kiamba town in Sarangani Province, the first for the area in years.
Carmelo Velasco, Kiamba municipal environment and natural resources officer, said the rare fish was spotted by fishermen swimming off Purok Kiblis in Barangay Lomuyon at around 4:30 a.m., but later died and washed ashore.
He said the oarfish was initially seen swimming near the shore and “appeared to be already at a weak state.”
“Not long after it was spotted, (the oarfish) died due to still unknown reasons,” the official said.
Responding municipal environment personnel measured the oarfish at 13 feet and 10 inches long and about 11 inches wide.
Velasco said the recovered oarfish, which is called the “king of herrings,” was the first ever recorded in the municipality.
He said the oarfish was brought to Barangay Poblacion in Kiamba for inspection by representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
A fishery reference website described the oarfish as “large, greatly elongated, pelagic lampriform fish belonging to the small family Regalecidae, and found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen.”
Several oarfish washed up ashore these past months in parts of Mindanao, triggering belief that they could be related to the recent series of earthquakes, among them the 6.7-magnitude temblor that hit Surigao City and the neighboring areas in February.
Parts of Lanao del Sur, Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur and Davao Occidental provinces were hit by moderate to strong earthquakes since last week.
Dozens of oarfish, which is known in Japan as “ryugu no tsukai” or “messenger from the sea god’s palace,” were reportedly found by Japanese fishermen before the occurrence of major earthquakes in the past. With PNA