Provincial and local officials’ action came in the wake of reported wanton disregard by shellfish gatherers and sellers of the ban and continue to ignore government warning that gathering and selling tahong, talaba and other shellfish are banned during red tide. With the passage of the local law, these people will now be penalized, although this will pose a major problem on them since they depend on shellfish gathering and selling for survival.
Governor Abet S. Garcia has for his part, been initiating moves in providing livelihood to these shellfish gatherers and sellers who will be displaced. Close to a thousand individuals are reported to be depending on shellfish gathering and selling in Bataan alone.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Imelda Inieto, Provincial Agriculture Officer, said earlier that they have already suggested to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) central office the upgrading of the tolerable limit of Saxi-Toxin level from 60mg/100mg STx to 80mg/100mg, which some believe is too high.
Newsmen noted however, that even at the height of the red tide ban, a number of consumers, including media men, are still eating tahong and oyster but no one was reported to have been poisoned by the red tide toxin.