DAGUPAN CITY, Oct. 11 (PNA) — Authorities here are still on alert over the possible entry into the market of shellfish affected by red tide as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) confirmed that the coastal waters in Alaminos City are still positive of red tide toxin.
City Agriculturist Emma Molina said based on the BFAR advisory, all those bringing in fish for sale in the Dagupan fish market must bring along auxiliary invoices issued by the Local Government Units (LGUs) where they come from
She said there is no time to relax since the health of the public is at stake as there could be an attempt by traders to bring red-tide infected seashells in the Dagupan market as they did in the past red tide episodes in western Pangasinan early this year.
Molina confirmed that even the oysters produced in Dagupan City, particularly in Barangay Lucao, which are not affected by red tide, are not being sold in the market now because of the continuing red tide episode in Alaminos City.
A BFAR advisory did not list Dagupan as among the areas in Pangasinan and in the entire country as among the areas affected by red tide and therefore the shellfishes produced by farmers in their rivers are safe.
Although Molina bared the distinguishing features of Dagupan-produced oysters, which area little bit smaller and their shells a little bit softer than the shells of oysters being produced in Alaminos City and its adjacent areas, still consumers appear reluctant to take the risk.
In its Shellfish Bulletin No. 25, series of 2014 issued on Oct. 4, BFAR confirmed that the coastal water of Alaminos City is still positive of red tide toxin and called on shellfish producers and the public from gathering, transporting, selling and eating shellfish products the till red tide episode is over,
BFAR Region 1 Director Nestor Domenden said the shellfish bulletin issued by BFAR national director Asis Perez, stated that “based on the latest laboratory results of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Local Government Units (LGUs), shellfishes collected at coastal waters of Alaminos in Pangasinan are still positive for paralytic shellfish poisoning that is beyond the regulatory limit.”
The bulletin stated that all types of shellfishes and alamang gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption, it said.
However, fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and the fish’s internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.(PNA)