The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has officially declared the fishing season for sardines, herring and mackerel in a portion of the Visayan Sea now open.
During a simple ceremony at the Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC) in Capiz, BFAR-Region 6 announced to local commercial and municipal fisherfolk the lifting of the three-month fishing ban, which started last November 15.
BFAR 6, citing the latest data from the National Stock Assessment Program, announced the successful implementation of the closed season on sardines and other pelagic fish species.
“There is a significant decrease in the landings of the protected species during the closed season,” the agency said in a statement. “This indicates the fisherfolk’s observance of Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3 through the intensive campaign of various government agencies.”
The Visayan Sea is a major fishing ground for sardines, herring, and mackerel. Philippine Statistics Authority shows that at least 1.15 percent of the total production of sardines and mackerel in the last five years have come from this area. However, production declined steadily prompting the bureau to seriously implement the closed season.
The agency sees the closed season as a concrete way of addressing the decreasing supply of galunggong thereby lowering its price in the market.
Although under the law, the closed season has been mandated since 1989, it was only towards the latter part of 2012 that it was seriously implemented and observed with the full cooperation of all commercial fishing operators in the area as well as the local government units and other stakeholders.
As a result of the previous closed season in the Visayan Sea, BFAR noted there has also been an increase in the catch of galunggong in the area.
BFAR said it will continue to study closely the results of the implementation of the closed season in these waters to ensure the sustainability of sardine and mackerel stocks.