The Kelantan Fisheries Department has recently imposed a ban on eating molluscs from Sungai Geting due to a suspected red tide or harmful algal bloom.
According to Bernama, the Director of Kelantan Fisheries Department, Nazri Ishak said the sale and harvest of all kinds of molluscs such as oysters and clams are under the ban.
“An analysis by the Fisheries Biosecurity Lab shows that molluscs from the area are contaminated with saxitoxin from harmful alga, Alexandrium minutum.”
“If consumed, the contaminated molluscs can cause poisoning and pose a threat to human health.” he said in a statement on 11 October.
He said that red tides normally occur in Sungai Geting due to hot weather and other factors.
He added that molluscs are filter feeders and if they filter matter like algae to a high level, eating them can cause food poisoning.
“We will do weekly testing until they are safe to eat. As a preventative measure, the harvesting of molluscs is prohibited until the investigation is over and safety is guaranteed.” Nazri said.
He also said that the investigation found that not all the molluscs sold by the road are from the contaminated area.
However, this is mainly because not all sellers are sourcing from Sungai Geting.
He also advise customers to ask about the origin of the molluscs to be safe.