Residents of Jiabong town in Samar, whose livelihood mainly rests on selling mussels or tahong, are thankful that Maqueda Bay has been declared free from red tide toxins.
Henry Pacolaba is thankful that authorities allowed them to sell mussels again. Pacolaba earns about P300 a day from selling mussels.
Since the lifting of the shellfish ban last February, Maqueda Bay remains red tide free, giving vendors the opportunity to have better income.
Lita Labne makes ‘ginamos’ or salted and fermented mussels now that the supply is plenty.
She first removes the fresh mussel meat from the shell and washes it with clean seawater. She drains the meat and puts salt.
She sells a bottle of ‘Ginamos na Tahong’ for P50.
The vendors hope that Maqueda Bay will remain red tide free especially since most mussel supply comes from this area. Jiabong is known as the mussel capital in Eastern Visayas.
Based on the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ latest shellfish bulletin, all coastal waters in Eastern Visayas are free from red tide toxins.