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By José Antonio Pérez
The Sonoran Secretary of Health has issued a precautionary health advisory on bivalve mollusks in Puerto Peñasco, Caborca, and Huatabampo due to a “red tide” (marea roja) alert. State Health Protection Commissioner Franccisco Alberto Genesta Leyva detailed this includes bans on the extraction, production, sale and consumption of bivalve mollusks during the alert period. This includes clams, oysters, and scallops, which may carry shellfish toxins (saxitoxin) due to changes in salinity, temperature, and the red tide.
The precautionary health advisory encompasses Morua Estuary in Puerto Peñasco (between Las Conchas and Playa Encanto), San Francisquito in Caborca, and Santa Barbara and Bachoco in the area of Huatabampo. The health official explained ongoing monitoring would be taking place in order to advise as to when the “red tide” alert subsides.
In 2017, a red tide alert in the area extended from the end of January through early April. It is important to note products such as fish and shrimp are not impacted by the red tide alert.