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The red tide is still present in eight bays in Eastern Visayas.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) stated on Monday that red tide has affected at least eight bays in Eastern Visayas this week, owing to changing weather patterns.

Heavy rains in recent weeks, according to BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Juan Albaladejo, spurred the discharge of pollutants from the uplands to the sea.

“A succession of huge rains resulted in runoff of soil sediments high in organic load, which fertilized the red tide cyst and promoted the unexpected development of red tide episodes,” Albaladejo said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

The poisonous organism was discovered this week in San Pedro Bay in Basey, Samar; coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte; Carigara Bay in Capoocan, Carigara, Barugo, San Miguel, and Babatngon in Leyte, based on laboratory analysis results of shellfish flesh samples.

Coastal waters of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Matarinao Bay in General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar; coastal waters of Biliran Island; and coastal waters of Calbayog City in Samar are also affected.

The fisheries bureau has increased its monitoring of these coastal waters and reactivated its information drive system to notify the public and local government entities concerned.

To avoid paralytic shellfish poisoning, Albaladejo suggested that local government entities in these bays increase their surveillance of shellfish gathering, trafficking, and ingestion (PSP).

PSP is caused by eating toxins-containing bivalve shellfish such as mussels, oysters, and clams.

Tingling of the lips and tongue is a symptom that can appear minutes after eating deadly shellfish or take an hour or two to appear.

This can lead to tingling in the fingers and toes, loss of control of the arms and legs, and breathing difficulties.

Fish, squid, shrimp, and crabs caught in these places are safe to consume “if they are fresh, well washed, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.”

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