Fish production up in Visayan Sea due to seasonal closure
The Visayan Sea has seen a 20 percent jump in the production of sardines, herrings and mackerels after fishermen dutifully observed the three-month closed season, according to the the regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Western Visayas (BFAR-6) on Friday.
Remia Aparri, in her presentation during the 10th Visayas Sea Governors Summit at the Sheridan Boutique Resort in Oton, Iloilo, said there was a noticeable reduction of of fishing vessels in the Visayan Sea during the closed season from November 15 o February 15.
The three-month closed season was established through Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3, mainly to conserve sardines, herrings and mackerels in the Visayan Sea. It particularly prohibits the catching, killing, selling or possession of the said fish species.
“The awareness for compliance that they (fishermen) should not fish during closed season is the reason why there is a reduction,” she said in a follow up interview.
There are around 349 commercial fishing vessels operating in the Visayan Sea but during closed season, the number goes down to less than 50 vessels, she said.
Aparri said violators are subject to a fine of P6,000, imprisonment of six months to six years, depending on the gravity of offense and forfeiture of the catch and cancellation of fishing permit or license.
“Based on our report, there is a 20 percent increase in production after the observance of closed season,” she said.
With less fishing activities,sardines, herrings and mackerels have more time to reproduce and for their spawn to mature.
Aparri said they have met with various enforcement agencies in the region and Bantay-Dagat groups of local government units on how to enforce the closed season.
“We hope that our fishermen will continue to become compliant in the coming closed season,” she said. (PNA)