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Shellfish Farmers Affected by Red Tide Urged to Shift to Agriculture

Lucy Towers
11 July 2013, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - Shellfish farmers affected by the red tide toxins plaguing Samar seawaters in Calbayog City have been advised to plant agricultural products as an alternative source of income.

City Agriculturist Adela Ocenar said they immediately dispatched technicians to monitor water samples from eight monitoring stations when deaths were reported in Tarangnan. They then discovered that Calbayog waters is now positive for red tide organism (pyradinium bahamense var. compressum) which causes paralytic shellfish poisoning.

“We have advised farmers to refrain from collecting shellfish, however, fish harvested from the said area are safe, if washed thoroughly and if the gills and intestines are removed,” said Ocenar.

Samar Provincial Agriculturist Anita Taran is also thinking of alternative livelihood for mussel farmers in the bays of Cambatutay and Irong-Irong. She plans to talk to Mayor Danilo Tan of Tarangnan and consult the mussel farmers affected next week to determine what contingent measures are in order.

“We want to validate our list of mussel farmers in the area,” added Taran.

Records show some 99 mussel and oyster farmers are affected in six Tarangnan (Samar) barangays with some 13, 300 bamboo poles left unharvested for fear of red tide poisoning.