BFAR plans fishing ban in Palawan, Zambales

20150906c064eDAVAO CITY — A closed fishing season will be implemented in Palawan and Zambales by December this year following a similar program first undertaken in the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Davao Gulf.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources National Director Asis G. Perez at the opening of the fishing season in the Davao Gulf last week. — Carmencita A. Carillo

Undersecretary Asis G. Perez, national director of the Bureau of Fisheries and AquaticResources (BFAR), said the agency, drawing on experience from the two Mindanao fishing ban zones, expects the fish catch to improve with the declaration of a periodic ban in the two new zones, which are major suppliers for Luzon.

Mr. Asis made the announcement when he was in Davao City last week for the ceremonial declaration of the open fishing season at the Davao Gulf from Sept. 1 to May 31 next year.

The closed season in the Davao Gulf was implemented for the second time this year, running from June to August, the spawning season of pelagic fishes.

In the Zamboanga Peninsula, home to sardine and herring species, the closed season from December to February has been in place since 2011.

In both Zamboanga and Davao, BFAR has reported increases in fish catch after the fishing ban was implemented.

“We are happy to declare the open season considering that after giving the pelagic fishes a time to spawn, then we can now expect our fisherfolk to have a larger and better fish catch,” Mr. Asis said.

The BFAR head said notable increases have been recorded not just in the catch volume but also in the size of the fish hauled from the Davao Gulf.

He cited as examples the matambaka (Selar crumenophthalmus) with production increasing to 40,000 metric tons (MT) in 2014 from 15,000 MT the previous year while the bilong-bilong(Mene maculata) averaged 19 centimeters (cm) in length from the previous average size of 11 cm.

In an earlier press statement on the case of Zamboanga, Mr. Perez said: “The hike in the population of sardines particularly tamban or Indian sardine was likewise felt in nearby regions 10 and 11. BAS (Bureau of Agricultural Statistics) data, in fact, indicated a rising trend for sardine production in Region 10 which started from 18,559 MT in 2011 to 22,911.51 MT in 2013. Davao Region has also registered 72.14% increase in sardine production from 1,767.96 MT in 2012 to 3,043.43 MT in 2013.

The implementation of closed season is intended for conservation as well as to strengthen the country’s campaign against Illegal, Unreported and Uncontrolled Fishing as part of its global commitments.

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