BFAR-7 director Allan Poquita urged the various local government units that surround the Visayan Sea to pass an ordinance allowing an extension of the annual three-month fishing ban to allow the fingerlings to become adult fishes.BFAR-7 director Allan Poquita urged the various local government units that surround the Visayan Sea to pass an ordinance allowing an extension of the annual three-month fishing ban to allow the fingerlings to become adult fishes.
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BFAR pushes fishing ban extension at Visayan Sea
May B. Miasco (The Freeman) - April 16, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-Region 7) has recommended to extend the three-month fishing ban in the Visayan Sea to allow juvenile fishes to fully mature.

BFAR-7 director Allan Poquita urged the various local government units that surround the Visayan Sea to pass an ordinance allowing an extension of the annual three-month fishing ban to allow the fingerlings to become adult fishes.

The policy of prohibiting any fishing activity in the Visayan Sea is imposed every year during the spawning season of the pelagic marine species in the sea that lies at the northern tip of Cebu.

The Visayan Sea, one of the country's major fishing grounds abundant of pelagic fisheries resources, is surrounded by the islands of Cebu on the southeast; Negros on the south; Panay on the west; and Masbate on the north.

The annual close season is currently supported by an existing national policy or the Fishery Administrative Order 167-3 that prohibits fishing only during the spawning season from November 15 to February 15.

Poquita said that based on scientific research, the three marine species – sardines, herrings, and mackerels – found in Visayan Sea typically spawn during this period. And every year, the Visayan Sea is guarded by an inter-agency enforcement team to deter all forms of commercial fishing in the area to ensure the preservation of these marine species.

Poquita said preventing any fishing activity in the waters would give time for these species to grow and flourish in number resulting to bigger fish catch or fisheries production, thus, generating more income to fishers. Environmental group Greenpeace supported the recommendation of Poquita.

Vince Cinches, oceans campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines, agreed to Poquita's proposal, however, another scientific research has to be done to determine the extent of the closure.

Alongside the fishing ban, he also suggested other management tool like regulating the specific gears to be used in harvesting fishes or establishing harvest limits. Cinches lamented that there is a tendency that after the closure, both municipal and commercial fishers will race to catch fishes, thus, resulting to overfishing.

He said there should be a harmonized management framework by the concerned LGU's. (FREEMAN)

FISHING BAN
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