Cordova folk hopeful ‘bakasi’ will survive
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) yesterday said bakasi (sea eel) from Cordova town is still safe for human consumption, but asked the public to be cautious.
No traces of oil were found on the bakasi caught in barangay Buagsang yesterday when BFAR inspectors took samples.
Even BFAR Assistant Regional Director Allan Poquita had nilarang bakasi (stewed eel) for lunch in “Entoy’s Bakasi” a 13-year-old eatery popular for Cordova’s famous dish.
The soup had fresh eel and the sour taste of tomatoes and iba.
Poquita told Cebu Daily News that fish and other marine animals are sensitive to changes in their habitat.
“If they sense harmful substances, they would stay away from the area,” he said.
However, he said fish and marine life kept in cages are more vulnerable because of their enclosure.
Poquita advised the public to remove the gills and entrails of fish before cooking. Wash it thoroughly and cook it until it is well done.
He discouraged eating raw fish, seaweeds and sea shells especially if these came from areas affected by the oil spill.
The fisheries official also clarified that those living away from Cordova and Talisay City where the MV St. Thomas Aquinas sank last Friday should not be afraid to eat fish.
“Fish only eat plants and small animals. There is no truth that fishes eat human carcass,” he added.
Florencio Escabas, 65, owner of Entoy’s Bakasi is nonetheless worried that his business will be affected by Friday’s sea mishap.
He sells bakasi caught in their beaches at P100 per kilo. If cooked into nilarang or fried, he sells the dish for P150.
“I am very sad that oil spill has also affected our business and there are only few bakasi left after the oil spill threat,” he said.
He said hopes the bakasi will be able to evade the oil spill by swimming to other areas not affected by the disaster.
This view is shared Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy who told CDN that bakasi has made the waters off the ir town their habitat. Bakasi thrives in the rocky and muddy coast of Cordova. /Michelle Joy L. Padayhag, Correspondent
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