Visayan Sea closed to commercial fishing

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - November 24, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Commercial fishing of sardines, herrings and mackerels within the Visayan Sea has been banned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-7 within the next three months.

BFAR-7 director Andres Bojos said the ban took effect on November 15 and will last until February 15 next year. Bojos said that the closure of the Visayan Sea to this type of commercial fishing is due to the spawning season of these fishes.

"Mao ni ang time nga ting-itlog sa mga isda. This is the time to replenish the fish," said Bojos.

For the third straight year, BFAR has declared the Visayan Sea closed to commercial fishing for sardines, mackerels, and herrings.

The ban, however, does not apply to municipal fishers who can still catch these species for personal consumption and for selling in local wet markets.

Bojos said the ban covers portions of the Visayan Sea from Danao River at the tip of Escalante north of Bacolod, at the eastern tip of Sta. Fe and northern tip of Madridejos in Cebu to Higantes Island in Carles, Iloilo, and Caluya Island in Oriental Mindoro.

Based on BFAR’S research, November to February is the peak of the spawning period for sardines, mackerels, and herrings.

Violators will be fined from P100,000 to P500,000 and/or imprisonment of  up to six years and confiscation of catch and fishing gear.

Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines, said that the fishing ban is one way of ensuring the viability of the fishing industry and the livelihood of municipal fishers.

Sardines and herrings are known in the Visayas by the local names as tamban, malalangsi, and tuloy while mackerel is called tamarong or anduhaw.

According to BFAR, most of the country’s fishing grounds, including the Visayan Sea, are overfished.

The Visayan Sea is a major fishing ground for sardines, herrings, and mackerels. — (FREEMAN)

ANDRES BOJOS BACOLOD BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES CALUYA ISLAND DANAO RIVER FISHING GLORIA ESTENZO RAMOS HIGANTES ISLAND OCEANA PHILIPPINES ORIENTAL MINDORO VISAYAN SEA
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