Red Tide Forces Closure of Shellfish Fishing

26 November 2012, at 12:00am

COSTA RICA - The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) and the Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture (INCOPESCA) have decided to maintain the ban on catching bivalve molluscs and are calling on all people to avoid eating molluscs, oysters and mussels.

The move comes after a recent survey in Punta Cuchillo and Isla Cedros, in Puntarenas confirmed toxic algae bloom contamination.

The studies found high presence of a bloom of Bahamian Pyrodinium compressum var, which are the cause of this contamination. This phenomenon, known as "red tide", may cause poisoning in humans and in some cases even death from cardio respiratory arrest.

Doubles Luis Ramirez, CEO of INCOPESCA, said the ban remains on the extraction and marketing of shellfish from the area in order to protect the health of the public.