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PIA Press Release

BFAR lifts shellfish ban at Irong-Irong Bay in Samar

Tacloban City (April 3) -- After almost two years, the shellfish ban at Irong-Irong Bay in the province of Samar was lifted on March 26 by no less than Director General Malcolm I. Sarmiento, Jr. of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

This information was relayed to PIA by BFAR 8 Director Ernesto Cam Hilvano who said that this is good news for the shellfish industry sector particularly those along the Irong-Irong Bay in Samar.

The lifting of the ban is contained in Shellfish Advisory No. 03 which states that based on the results of red tide monitoring activities of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, shellfish collected from Irong-Irong Bay in Samar is already negative for the red tide toxin.

For three consecutive weeks, sampling in the area produced negative results for Paralytic Shellfish Poison, hence, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aqwuatic Resources has been convinced that it is about time the shellfish ban in the area is lifted.

The lifting of the shellfish ban in Irong-Irong Bay means that shellfish harvested from Irong-Irong Bay are now safe for human consumption. Likewise, gathering and harvesting and marketing of shellfish harvested from said area is now permitted.

Director General Sarmiento however, emphasized that the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will continuously monitor Irong-Irong Bay in Samar in order to safeguard public health and to protect the shellfish industry.

Director Hilvano added that the latest Red Tide Update and laboratory test results on toxic dinoflagellates in seawater samples and mouse bio-assay examination for paralytic shellfish poisoning toxin in shellfish samples collected in the areas of Villareal Bay in Villareal, Samar and Carigara Bay in Leyte, municipal waters of Calbayog and municipal waters of Naval and Biliran in the province of Biliran, all showed negative results.

With these results, Director Hilvano believes that the shellfish industry in the Region will be able to improve and benefit the shellfish industry sector as well as the local government units. The public can also now eat shellfish products without any fear for their safety and health. (PIA 8) [top]

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