The Puerto Princesa City Environment and Natural Resources Office (City ENRO) Enforcement Division- Bantay Dagat Section has intensified anew the implementation of shellfish ban due to the presence of red tide toxins in Honda Bay and Puerto Princesa Bay.
Last Monday, January 11, 2021, the City ENRO’s Enforcement Division-Bantay Dagat Section confiscated a total of 41.6 kilos of assorted shellfish such as aripuros, sikad-sikad, ranga-ranga, rungot-rungot, talaba, kibaw and bakalan, and 10 bottles of salted preserved shell locally known as dayok. Luisito B. Garcia of Bantay Dagat said that these shellfish were confiscated from shellfish vendors in Barangay Sicsican, Bucana-Matahimik, Barangay Iwahig, and Barangay Tagburos.
The shellfish vendors were identified as Allan Biharang, Perma Sabinet, and Janet Arboleda of Barangay Tagburos, Karen Arzaga and Andrea Dela Cruz of Barangay Iwahig. In the afternoon, the confiscated shellfish were buried, as a standard procedure.
The City ENRO has warned the public not to gather, sell and consume shellfishes since Puerto and Honda Bay are still positive of red tide.
Atty. Carlo B. Gomez, the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer instructed the Enforcement Division to coordinate with barangays within Ulugan Bay not to bring their shellfish in the city proper, because it will be confiscated due to the shellfish ban. He also instructed his personnel to help disseminate the information so that the City residents will be aware of the presence of red tide.
On December 22, 2020, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources declared both Puerto Princesa and Honda Bays positive of red tide through Shellfish Bulletin No. 29 series of 2020, along with 17 other coastal areas across the country.
In its latest bulletin last January 12, 2021, the (BFAR) issued Shellfish Bulletin No. 1 series of 2021 placing 20 coastal areas in the country positive of red tide, including Puerto Princesa and Honda Bays. The strongly advised the public not to consume shellfishes collected in these areas due to the presence of paralytic shellfish poison which were “beyond the regulatory limit,” based on the latest laboratory results. The coastal waters of the Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay, Palawan was also identified as positive of red tide.
“All types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from these areas are NOT SAFE for consumption. Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and wash thoroughly , and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking,” the Shellfish Advisory warned the public.