CEBU CITY - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-7) in Central Visayas yesterday announced the start of the three-month fishing ban in the Visayan Sea.
Alfeo Piloton, regional director of BFAR-7, said the fishermen operating in the Visayan Sea should actively participate in the “three-month closed season.”
Starting on Friday , he said fishing of certain pelagic species like sardines, herrings and mackerels will be prohibited at the Visayan Sea until February 15, 2020.
The ban is to allow these fish species to flourish within that period, because the three-month period has been marked as the spawning season of these species, Piloton said.
He enjoined local government officials and coastal communities to cooperate with the bureau in its effort to conserve and protect the existing marine species at the Visayan Sea.
He said, the fishery bureau has been implementing this program for seven years now.
“It is prohibited in this certain time, because, based on our experience, the six years that we have been implementing closed season, every after implementing it, had a very good impact on our fishermen, because there was an increase of production,” Piloton said.
The Visayan Sea, one of the country's largest fishing grounds, is surrounded by the islands of Cebu and Negros to the south, Masbate to the north, Panay to the west, and Leyte to the east.
The northern seaboard of the coastal city of Bogo and towns of San Remegio, Daanbantayan and Medellin, as well as the island towns of Bantayan, Sta. Fe and Madridejos of the Cebu province which lie portion of the Visayan Sea are covered by the ban.
The regional field office of BFAR in the region, Piloton said, has intensified its information drive this month by educating fisherfolk on the salient provisions of the Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3, the policy that establishes the annual closed season at the Visayan Sea.
The amended administrative order specifies the prohibitions and the corresponding penalties for the violators like imprisonment for six months to six years and fine of P6,000, depending on the gravity of the offense.
“People should know of the significant intentions of implementing this policy because we are not only doing this in order to increase our current fishery production but we are imposing this to conserve our marine resources making sure that the future generation will benefit the same,” Piloton said.*PNA
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