Published: Friday 31 July 1998

The department of health imposed a ban on gathering and sale of shellfish in Bulacan after it found a stretch of the Manila Bay along the province to be infested with red tide organisms.

Seawater samples showed a considerably low density of red tide organisms in waters off Bulacan, but the Red Tide Task Force does not want to take any chances. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (bfar) banned the harvest and sale of shellfish from Cavite, Las Pias and Paraaque due to red tide.

The bfar said samples from the waters off Bulacan had organism densities ranging from zero to 119 cells per litre of seawater. The ban is being imposed in the Masinloc waters in Zambales, Juag Lagoon in Matnog, Sorsogon, Balite and Pujada Bays in Davao Oriental, Dumangquiklas, Sibu-guey and Illana Bays in Zamboanga del SurCalbayog waters off Calbayog City, Barobo waters in Llanga Bay, and Hinatuan waters off Surigao del Sur. However, vendors continued to sell shellfish varieties at low prices despite the ban and even ate these to prove that they are safe. The doh advised seafood lovers to avoid shellfish for the time being and asked them to eat fish, squids and crabs. However, they should ensure that the catch is fresh and internal organs of the fish carefully removed.

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