ILOILO CITY - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 6 again enjoined fishermen and local government officials to follow the closed season for sardines, herrings, and mackerels in the Visayan Sea.
The ban on fishing and selling of these species began Friday and will be lifted on February 15 next year, BFAR-6 director Remia Aparri said in a phone interview Saturday.
“We call (on) our stakeholders, fisherfolk, and the local government units to cooperate for the three-month ban. Let us give our seas a rest, and be on guard against violators in one of our richest fishing grounds,” Aparri said.
She said the three-month fishing ban covers the seas in northern Iloilo, from Barotac Nuevo towards Carles; Roxas City, Pilar, Pontevedra, President Roxas in Capiz province; EB Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Sagay, Cadiz City, and Escalante City in Negros Occidental; and Bantayan Island in Northern Cebu.
Citing scientific studies, Aparri said the period specified in the ban was identified as the breeding or spawning season for sardines, herrings, and mackerels.
“Let us allow these species to flourish after three months. They will support the population for fish for this generation and the future generations,” she said.
Aparri assured that law enforcers are patrolling the Visayan Sea to apprehend illegal fishers.
Apprehending the violators would ensure the sustainability of fish species and the protection of critical habitats that support marine aquatic organisms, she said, noting that fishing ban violators are subject to a fine of P6,000, imprisonment of six months to six years depending on the gravity of the offense, and forfeiture of the catch and cancellation of fishing permit or license.*PNA
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