Commercial fishing banned for 3 months: Visayan Sea closed
CEBU, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-7 has closed for three months – from November 15, 2019 to February 2020 – a portion of the Visayan Sea from commercial fishing for sardines, mackerel, and herring to allow fish stocks to recover during the spawning season.
“Kani nga months kay spawning season gyud ni sa sardines, mackerels and herrings. Let us give these species time to restore their population,” said BFAR-7 Director Alfeo Piloton.
Sardines and herring are known in the Visayas as Tamban or Malalangsi and Tuloy, respectively, while Mackerel is called Tamaro or Anduhaw.
Piloton also urged local officials and the coastal communities to cooperate with the bureau in its effort to conserve and protect existing marine species in the Visayan Sea.
Among the coastal areas in Cebu Island that bound the Visayan Sea are Bogo City and the towns of San Remegio, Daanbantayan, and Medellin.
This also includes Bantayan Island, comprising of the towns of Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos.
The Visayan Sea, which is one of the country’s largest fishing grounds, is surrounded by the islands of Cebu and Negros to the south; Masbate to the north; Panay to the west; and Leyte to the east.
BFAR-7, for its part, has intensified efforts in educating fisherfolk on the salient provisions of the Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3 – the policy which establishes the annual closed season of the Visayan Sea.
The amended administrative order specifies the prohibitions that people should heed to and the penalties that one might be imposed of if found violating of the policy.
Piloton said violators will be fined P6,000 and may be imprisoned for up to six years.
“People should know of the significant intentions of implementing this policy because we are not only doing this in order to increase our current fishery production but we are imposing this to conserve our marine resources making sure that the future generation will benefit the same,” said Piloton in a separate statement
The BFAR-7 chief also enjoins commercial fishing vessel operators to comply with the policy and avoid encroaching on the portion where fishing of the pelagic species has been banned.
Piloton said BFAR-7 is working closely with local government units involved in information campaign and to ensure that these LGUs stay vigilant in guarding the Visayan Sea. JMO (FREEMAN)