Press Release | 16 March 2024

All types of shellfish (mussels, oysters, clams, etc.) and alamang (Acetes sp.) gathered from the following areas are NOT SAFE to eat due to paralytic shellfish poison or toxic red tide: coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate; coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City of Bohol; Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; San Pedro Bay in Samar; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; and the Coastal Waters of San Benito in Surigao del Norte. Fish, squids, shrimps (except their heads) and crabs are safe to eat so long as they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking. This advisory is based on Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) Shellfish Bulletin No. 05, series of 2024, dated 15 March 2024.

The signs and symptoms of paralytic shellfish poisoning have a rapid onset and can be felt within 12 hours after eating unsafe shellfish. These include numbness around the mouth or face; dizziness; pricking sensation and/or paralysis of hands and feet; body weakness; rapid pulse; difficulty talking, swallowing, or breathing; and headache. There may also be abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

“Bring patients with symptoms after eating unsafe shellfish to the nearest emergency room immediately. Prevention is the best: do NOT eat tahong, talaba, halaan, other shellfish, and alamang from areas identified with toxic red tide. Always read advisories from DA-BFAR and the DOH. All hospitals are directed to prepare for these cases and to report them accordingly,” said DOH Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa.