DAVAO: The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has started with the implementation of a three-month closed season in the Davao Gulf, which serves as a massive spawning ground for tuna and other fish species this time of the year.

BFAR 11 regional director Fatma Idris said a joint administrative order by the secretaries of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) mandated the implementation of a closed season in Davao Gulf from June 1 to August 31 every year.

The closed season for commercial fishing vessels aims to conserve marine resources, to secure the spawning period of pelagic fishes in the gulf and continuously implement measures to address illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“Based on our resource assessment, tuna and tuna-like species are actively spawning in the coastal waters covering the Davao Gulf,” Idris said, adding that the study confirms that tuna spawns inside Davao Gulf where most of them can be found near its mouth.

The BFAR is set to deploy six vessels to enforce the closed season, with two boats to patrol the Davao Oriental side of the gulf, another two along Samal Island, and two along Davao del Sur.