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  • Worst Red Tide May Affect the Eastern Visayas – What Causes It?

    The BFAR warned about the effects of the worst red tide in 30 years. Is it caused by humans? Does cooking the affected shellfish kill the toxins?

    December 6, 2015 | Related: , ,


    Worst Red Tide May Affect the Eastern Visayas – What Causes It?

    The worst red tide in 30 years may hit the Eastern Visayas. BFAR director Juan Alabadejo blamed the biggest algal bloom as the result of prolonged dry season this year. Although it’s not the main cause of it, it’s a major contributing factor that has spread the red tide in the coastal waters.

    BFAR raised alert over regions in Cariga Bay, Leyte, and some others parts of the Eastern Visayas.

    To safeguard the public health, BFAR will ban the selling of shellfish, which will surely affect the livelihood of hundreds to thousands of fishermen in this region.

    Copper Red

    In an aerial view of the Samar Sea, it shows that the ocean’s color has turned into copper red with an estimated depth of six to nine meters. It stretches to a kilometer from the shoreline. It’s said to be trigged by the massive growth of algae producing toxins.

    In November, the toxins from shellfish obtained from contaminated bays have already killed a seven-year-old kid.

    But it’s not only humans who will be affected by red tide. Mortalities in marine organisms are also expected. In 1996, there were 162 dolphins in Mexico died because of red tide.

    Is Red Tide Caused by Human Beings?

    No, it’s a natural phenomenon. When the nutrients, salinity, and temperature have reached certain levels, they could cause the growth of red tide blooms. There’s no possible way that humans can do to control it.

    However, scientists around the world are studying it and how to prevent it.

    Is it safe to eat fish that has been caught near the worst red tide?

    Yes, it’s safe to eat fish, shrimp and crabs when there’s a red time bloom.

    That’s because toxins are not absorbed by the fleshy tissues of these species. Still, you should not eat fish that has been found dead or sick, even if they’re not caught during a red time bloom.

    On the other hand, if you eat shellfish from a red-tide-affected bay, it would seriously illness as these species can accumulate the toxins of red tide.

    If you have eaten affected shellfish

    You should immediately seek medical attention. It could cause serious illness that must be treated right away.

    Is it safe to swim in the affected bay?

    Yes, it’s safe for most people. However, it may cause skin irritation or burning eyes to some people. If you’re susceptible to irritation from plant products, you should avoid those regions with a red tide bloom.

    Does cooking destroy the red tide toxin?

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Cooking or even freezing it won’t destroy the toxin. To make the matter worst, the toxin can’t be tasted or seen.

    Photo Source: Red Tide

    About the author

    Janey Danes Janey Danes started her career as a part-time article writer, editor and proofreader in 2008. She specializes in topics related to health, travel, technology, family, and spiritual life. Danes is a licensed medical technologist and she holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology. She is also a contributor to Travel Philippines | Entertainment and Medical Technology Avenue. You can also find her on Google+.

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