Muscat: The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that a number of health institutions in the Governorate of Dhofar have registered several food poisoning cases due to eating shellfish, which are likely to contain poisonous substances as the beaches affected by the red tide phenomenon.
In such cases, the infected person may suffer from various symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, symptoms related to the nervous system like numbness, weakened movement, and shortness of breath.
MOH urges fishermen and consumers to be cautioned from eating fish and seashells extracted from the areas affected by the red tide. It also calls upon all to stay away from the areas that suspected to be affected by the red tide phenomenon to avoid poisoning.
The Ministry of Agricultural, Fisheries, and Water Resources too warned fishermen and sea-goers in the Dhofar Governorate about the phenomenon of red tides in the waters of the Arabian Sea.
The Ministry called on fishermen not to fish in areas where this phenomenon exists and also not to consume fish and shellfish during this period. “At the same time, specialists are monitoring this phenomenon and evaluating the overall impact,” a statement said.
Red tide is a phenomenon caused by algal blooms during which algae become so numerous that they discolor coastal waters (hence the name red tide). The algal bloom may also deplete oxygen in the waters and/or release toxins that may cause illness in humans and other animals.
Red tides cause a number of problems, including dense algal blooms during tidal booms, which lead to clogging of fish gill openings, leading to suffocation and death.
This bloom is caused by microscopic algae that produce toxins that kill fish and make shellfish dangerous to eat. The toxins may also make the surrounding air difficult to breathe.