The lifting of the 3-month closed fishing season in the Visayan Sea yesterday brought an increase by 4 percent in the population of sardines, herrings, and mackerels, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-6 Regional Director Remia Aparri said.
Aparri said yesterday that the ban, that started Nov. 15 last year, brought an additional 80,000 to 100,000 metric tons in the population of the three fishes found in the Visayan Sea.
Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3 established the closed fishing season in the Visayan Sea, specifically from the mouth of Danac River in the northeastern tip of the Bantayan Island to Madridejos, through the lighthouse in Gigantes Island, to Clutaya Island, to Culasi Point in Capiz province;
Coastward along the northern coast of Capiz to Bulacaue Point in Carles, Iloilo, southward along the eastern coast of Iloilo to the mouth of Talisay River, westward across the Guimaras Strait to Tomonton Point in Occidental Negros, then eastward along the northern coast of the Island of Negros and back to the mouth of Danao River in Escalante, Negros Occidental.
Aparri said that most of the fishermen have been compliant with the banning of spawning these three major fishes in the Visayan Sea, as she reported that there have been no apprehensions due to violations of the ban.
“The increase in their population is very significant as it could bring more income and job opportunities to the fisherfolk in Western Visayas,” she said.
During the start of the banning, she said that, due to a massive campaign against illegal fishing and observance of the closed season, violators have decreased and more already know the importance of ensuring enough fish and other marine resources.
“By observing closed season, there will be the sustainability of these species and our resources will be enough, not just for the fisherfolk, but also for the public who consume it,” she said.
The seaborne patrol operations have also contributed to the decrease in fishing violations, she added.
However, she reminded the fishermen to not catch juvenile fishes to ensure that more fish could populate the Visayan Sea, and that sanctions under Republic Act 10654 could be faced by those who practice unregulated and illegal fishing.
Aparri also urged all local government units in Western Visayas to help monitor illegal fishing activities in their areas to assure that implementation of programs to sustain marine resource will be 100 percent. *MLG
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