Costa Rica officials ban shellfish consumption, blame red tide
Authorities of the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG) and Costa Rican Fisheries Institute (Incopesca) mandated all residents to avoid eating shellfish caught in Costa Rican waters, including oysters and mussels, after confirming the presence of red tide (harmful algal blooms) in the Pacific waters of the Gulf of Nicoya.
This phenomenon may cause poisoning in humans and in some cases even death from cardiorespiratory arrest.
Experts from both agencies collected water samples in several sectors that were analyzed by the Laboratory of Marine Phytoplankton at National University and confirmed high presence of algae species that cause the red tide.
The Inter-Agency Committee for the Prevention and Control of Red Tide in Costa Rica (formed by members of Incopesca, MAG, the Health Ministry, the Social Security System, National University and University of Costa Rica), reported that the “ban on shellfish remains active, so consumption and commercialization is absolutely prohibited.”
Those who consume contaminated shellfish may present symptoms such as tingling around the mouth, arms and fingers, difficulty breathing, swallowing and speaking, trouble walking or a floating sensation. “Anyone with any of these symptoms should go immediately to the nearest hospital,” the committee said in a statement.
You may be interested
Looking back at Hurricane Maria: the initial impactJohn McPhaul - December 12, 2017
As Costa Rica joins many other nations in looking back upon the devastating 2017 hurricane season, longtime Tico Times contributor…
Cold front claims fourth victim in Costa RicaKatherine Stanley - December 12, 2017
High winds claimed the life of a fourth victim in Costa Rica as the cold front that has been moving…
With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalieAFP - December 11, 2017
Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…