Red tide toxin confirmed in Capiz coastal waters

By Felipe V. Celino

ROXAS CITY, Capiz – The coastal waters of Capiz is on red tide alert after 4 out of the 10 shellfish meat samples from different areas were found to be contaminated with Pyrodinium bahamense which causes paralytic shellfish poison (PSP).

According to Capiz provincial agriculturist Sylvia Dela Cruz, the meat samples that were found positive for red tide toxin are from the areas of Brgy. Natividad in Pilar; Brgy. Butacal in Panay; and Brgy. Barra in Roxas City.

Dela Cruz said the toxicity levels in the said areas are higher than the tolerable level of 60 micrograms/100 grams.

De la Cruz said toxicity at Brgy. Butacal is more than 200 micrograms, 87.11 micrograms in Brgy. Barra, and 276.66 micrograms in Brgy. Natividad.

The provincial government warned the public against harvesting, transporting, selling and eating shellfish in the province of Capiz to avoid being poisoned.

Dela Cruz lamented the effects of red tide on the shellfish industry even as she recommended to higher officials to help shellfish vendors and fishermen.

She could not ascertain until when the contamination will last but she assured that her office will continue monitoring the situation based on their protocol every month.

De la Cruz recalled that the last time red tide hit Capiz was in 2015. At that time, the total ban on the harvesting, selling, and eating of shellfish lasted for three months.

She said that this year’s toxicity levels on shellfish are higher compared to previous years.