ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — A three-month fishing ban in Zamboanga Peninsula was officially implemented last Saturday, December 1.
Fishing for sardines, in particular, is strictly prohibited within the conservation area which covers the waters of East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait, and Sibugay Bay.
The ban aims to increase fish stocks by allowing more fish to spawn and grow.
It will also give the fishing ground enough time to rejuvenate so that it can last for years to come.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) are joined by the Philippine Coast Guard in patrolling the seas.
The BFAR expects the harvest of sardines and other fish to increase when the closed season ends on March 1.
Based on the agency’s data, the sardine catch in 2017 increased by 11 percent or equivalent to over 16,000 metric tons.
At present, the total commercial catch of sardines reaches up to 165,000 metric tons annually.
“The fish were supposed to have a closed and conserved and managed properly abounds within the fifteen kilometers which we are not allowed to fish,” said Roberto Baylosis, executive vice president of Southern Phils. Commercial Fisher, Inc.
Aside from sardines, there was also a five-percent increase in the harvest of other species like galunggong, kabalyas and tuna.
This has prompted Palawan and other areas to adopt the measure.
“In Palawan more on galunggong; and in Davao also, same on small pelagic naging po model po itong ating practice here in Zamboanga peninsula. Napakaganda po nito because this is the way of protecting, conserving our resources,” said Isidro Velayo, Jr., regional director of BFAR-9. — Dante Amento | UNTV News & Rescue