BFAR to implement 3-month fish ban off Davao Gulf

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Following three consecutive years of successful implementation, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will implement anew a three-month ban on fishing of sardines and herring off the Gulf of Davao.

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BFAR Executive Director Asis Perez said a closed season—covering the entire Davao Gulf, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur—will be implemented from June 1 to August 31 as part of the agency’s conservation efforts of small pelagic fish species, as well as tuna population.

“We are inspired with the success of the implementation of closed fishing season in various parts of the country,” Perez said, citing the rising trend in fish production since they have started implementing closed fishing season three years ago.

Perez said the agency is now looking at implementing similar scheme in Palawan, saying that they expect to complete feasibility study by September this year.

At present, closed season is still enforced in Zamboanga Peninsula—covering the East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait and Sibuguey Bay.

Perez’s announcement came at the heels of a 3.25 percent contraction in fisheries subsector in the first quarter of 2014. Reduced production was noted among all species, except skipjack.

Perez said the reduction in fisheries output is attributed to the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda, which wrecked havoc to about 74 percent of the coastal towns and cities in the Central Philippines.

BFAR estimated the damages caused by Yolanda to the fisheries sector at nearly P2 billion.

“We are still lucky that the contraction is not that big despite 26 percent of our total production areas affected by Yolanda,” Perez said.

He is hopeful that the fisheries sector will bounce back sooner as the agency starts the second phase of its Ahon! Rehabilitation Initiative, which aims to provide assistance to some 30,000 fisherfolk beneficiaries in major fishing areas affected by the storm.

It can be recalled that BFAR also postponed the implementation of the closed season in the Visayas to jumpstart the municipal fishery sector in typhoon-stricken areas.

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