By Benilda A. Recebido
This was confirmed in a recent test made by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) where shellfish samples taken on said bodies of water turned negative for red tide contamination.
According to Shellfish Bulletin No. 09 dated April 17, 2013, BFAR said shellfish harvested from Sorsogon Bay remains safe for human consumption. The same announcement likewise declared Juag Lagoon free from red tide-causing organism.
The bureau however has maintained its red tide alert after other samples tested positive for paralytic shellfish poison beyond safe levels at the Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Murceilagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental; and Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental.
The bulletin signed by BFAR Director Atty. Asis G. Perez warned that all types of shellfish gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption. It stated, however, that fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs harvested from these areas are safe to eat provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.
Sorsogon Bay is surrounded by the coastal villages of Sorsogon City and the towns of Juban, Casiguran and Castilla. Seashells like halaan (clams), talaba (oysters), bamboo shells, ritob, kagot, takal, tuway (all named in Bicol term) and many more species, are abundant in the bay.
Juag Lagoon in Matnog, Sorsogon is a favorite habitat of lobsters, clams, lapu-lapu, and clownfish, among others.
Fishery officials here, meanwhile, assured the public they would remain vigilant and conduct a close monitoring of the areas to ensure the safety of the public against shellfish poisoning. (MAL/BAR/PIA5-Sorsogon)