Wednesday, July 6

Guatemala prevents shellfish fishing after a red tide that has left 4 dead

  • Animals have been affected by their exposure to algae that contain toxins

Guatemalan authorities declared this Friday a temporary ban on shellfish fishing along the Pacific Ocean coastline due to a red tide that was detected earlier this month and that has already left four dead in the Central American country.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA) reported this Friday on its official channels that it declared a ban on fishing shells, mussels, oysters and clams in said ocean, as they are possibly toxic for consumption. According to said portfolio, the ban took effect this Friday and will remain until the Ministry of Health confirms that the consumption of shellfish from the coast is safe for humans. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food added that fishing is prohibited along the entire Pacific coast, which includes the departments (provinces) of Jutiapa, Santa Rosa, Escuintla, Suchitepéquez and San Marcos, all located in the south of the territory.

The Guatemalan health authorities declared the alert at the beginning of May due to the presence of the red tide in the waters of the Pacific coast, which on that date had already caused the death of a person from consuming shellfish. Nevertheless, To date there are four deceasedincluding three children, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health, which warned the population of the risks of consuming shellfish.

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The first poisonings, according to the health portfolio, were recorded on April 29 in two minors and one adult, who were treated at the hospital in the southern municipality of Tiquisate, in the department of Escuintla, with gastrointestinal symptoms for having eaten clams To date, 34 cases with the same symptoms have been reported, with four deaths, according to the same source.

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According to the authorities, there is a massive proliferation of algae with toxins that are harmful to humans and that cause the contamination of molluscs in the Guatemalan Pacific Ocean.

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