The Kelantan Fisheries Department (JPNK) has imposed an immediate ban on molluscs from Sungai Geting, Tumpat due to a suspected 'red tide'
A 'red tide' is a common term used for uncontrolled algae bloom that is harmful to humans.
According to Bernama, JPNK director Nazri Ishak said that the sale and harvest of shellfish, such as oysters, cockles, and clams, are prohibited as of October until further notice.
"An analysis by the Fisheries Biosecurity Lab shows that molluscs from the area are contaminated with saxitoxin from harmful algae, Alexandrium minutum," he said.
"If consumed, the contaminated molluscs can cause poisoning and pose a threat to human health," he said in a statement on Monday, 11 October.
Nazri said red tides commonly occur in Sungai Geting due to hot weather and other factors
He explained that molluscs are filter feeders and if they filter matter like algae to a high level, consuming them can cause food poisoning.
"We will do weekly testing until they are safe to eat," he said.
He added that the harvesting of molluscs is also prohibited until the investigation is over and safety is guaranteed.
He said that based on investigations, too, not all the molluscs sold from the East Coast are from the contaminated area
"The sellers told JPNK they don't source from Sungai Geting," he said.
However, to be safe, he said customers should ask for the origin of the shellfish they are buying.