Sun. Nov 29th, 2020
Photo shows the portion of the Visayan Sea that will be closed for fishing from November 15, 2020 to February 15, 2021. PHOTO FROM BFAR

ILOILO CITY: Fishing within the Visayan Sea is prohibited for three months starting November 15, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 6 said, to allow juvenile sardines, herring, and mackerel to spawn and multiply.

Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 167-3 series of 2013 established the closed season that specifically prohibits the catching, selling, and marketing of sardines, herring and mackerel.

BFAR Director for Region 6 Remia Aparri said that the closed season allows herrings, sardines, and mackerels to spawn and to make fishing sustainable in the Visayan Sea.

“Let us give them time to spawn and grow. In the end, we are still the ones who can benefit from it,” she said in a statement on Friday.

The Visayan Sea is surrounded by 33 cities and municipalities of the provinces of Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, and Masbate.

In Western Visayas, areas covered by the closure include territorial waters in Barotac Nuevo, Anilao, Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Concepcion, San Dionisio, Batad, Estancia, Balasan, and Carles in northern Iloilo; part of Capiz including Roxas City, Pilar, Pontevedra, President Roxas, and Panay; and EB Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Sagay City, Cadiz City, and Escalante City in northern Negros.

Around 20 percent of the total production of the said fish species comes from Western Visayas.

Apart from the three fish species, the Visayan Sea is also home to hectares of corals, mangroves, seagrasses, and marine protected areas (MPA).

Aparri added that the current health pandemic showed the significance of the agri-fishery sector, which provided the primary needs of people.

Hence, she said that with the cooperation of everyone, the people of Western Visayas will have food on their table.

“As stakeholders, we enjoin everyone to take part in Bantay Visayan Sea while it takes its much deserved pahuway (rest),” she said.

In a previous interview, Aparri said that the closure of the Visayan Sea last year has boosted the population of the targeted three fish species by about 10 to 20 percent.

The increased population means abundant fish catch both for the municipal and commercial fisheries, she added.

The closed season that will end February next year has for its theme “Visayan Sea Closed Season: Ang Pahuway sang Baybay.” SOVEREIGNPH

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