BFAR wants LGUs to craft local legislation for declaration of local ‘closed season’
Local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to craft an ordinance that will declare a “closed season” for sardines and mackerel or for other fish species that thrive in their locality.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic (BFAR) Regional Director Remia Aparri said this Wednesday, adding that they have been advised by National Director Eduardo B. Gongona to extend technical assistance to LGUs in conceptualizing local ordinances.
This is also aligned with the direction of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol to increase areas that will be covered by the closed season.
“It doesn’t have to be a national law,” she said, citing that the annual “closed season” for sardines and mackerels covering Regions 4B, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 is governed by a joint declaration by the BFAR, LGUs and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Aparri said that there is a need to manage sardines and mackerels to ensure fish sustainability.
Sardines, she said, serve as food for the people because it is cheap. Big fishes or predators feed on sardines, thus, it is important to increase the latter’s production.
Also, sardines generate employment, citing the case of Zamboanga where the fish species is canned for mass production.
On Thursday, BFAR will gather in Manila stakeholders from the above-stated regions for the presentation of various studies on sardines that can be used in coming up with a policy on managing sardines in the Philippines.
Aparri said that the local closed season may not necessarily coincide with the annual December to March period. It has to depend on the spawning period of the species.
“Actually, it’s not only sardines but also other species,” she said.
Aparri added that they are currently evaluating coastal LGUs for the possible crafting of a local legislation.
She added that sardines thrive in waters of Buenavista and Jordan in Guimaras; Sapian, Capiz ; Pandan, Libertad, Sebaste and Culasi in Antique; and northern Iloilo that is covered by the Visayan Sea.
BFAR hoped to start with pilot LGUs during the second semester of this year. (PNA)