Costa Rica officials ban shellfish consumption, blame red tide

November 8, 2012

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

It’s frog orgy season
Environment and Wildlife
1107 views
Environment and Wildlife
1107 views

It’s frog orgy season

Lindsay Fendt - May 25, 2018

The rainy season is upon us. For many of us that means hiding indoors for the next few months, but for Costa…

Costa Rica’s guilty voters
No Sugar Please
74 views
No Sugar Please
74 views

Costa Rica’s guilty voters

Álvaro Murillo - May 25, 2018

By what I have done, and by what I have left undone. A relative of mine is 70 years old…

Fed up: Nicaragua’s uprising
Nicaragua
97 views
Nicaragua
97 views

Fed up: Nicaragua’s uprising

Alexander Villegas - May 25, 2018

We all heard it. University students and protesters across Nicaragua stood up against the country’s increasingly authoritarian president, Daniel Ortega,…