3-month closed season begins in Visayan Sea

STARTING Nov. 15, 2019, Friday, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (Bfar) 7 will again put the Visayan Sea on a three-month “closed season” that prohibits the fishing of sardines, herrings and mackarels in the area until Feb. 15, 2020.

Now on its seventh year, the regulation under Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3 paves the way for the breeding and spawning of these major fish species in the Visayan Sea which accounts for 30-40 percent of Cebu’s fish supply.

Bfar 7 regional director Alfeo Piloton urged local officials in coastal communities to regulate fishing in their respective municipal waters to help sustain, protect and manage aquatic resources.

“People should know of the significant intentions of implementing this policy because we are not only doing this in order to increase our current fishery production, but we are imposing this to conserve our marine resources, making sure that the future generation will benefit the same,” Piloton said.

Violation of the prohibition shall subject the offender to imprisonment of six months to six years and/or fine of P6,000.

Among the coastal areas facing the Visayan Sea are Bogo City, and the towns of San Remigio, Daanbantayan and Medellin in northern Cebu.

The entire Bantayan Island comprised of three municipalities—Sta. Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos, is itself located within the Visayan Sea.

The Visayan Sea, known to be one of the Philippines’ biggest fishing grounds, spans the islands of Cebu and Negros in the South, Masbate in the North, Panay in the West and Leyte in the East.

Piloton appealed to commercial fishing vessel operators to abide by the Bfar regulation while he assured that marginalized fishermen can continue to fish for other species in the Visayan Sea. (HBL)