CEBU CITY, Nov. 11 (PIA)--The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7) called on the various stakeholders to participate actively during the three-month closed season at a portion of the Visayan Sea that will start on Nov. 15, 2019.
Fishing of certain pelagic species (sardines, herrings, and mackerels) will be prohibited until Feb. 15, 2020 to allow them to flourish in number.
The three-month period has been marked as the spawning season of these species.
BFAR Region 7 Director Alfeo Piloton urged local officials and the coastal communities to cooperate with the bureau in its effort to conserve and protect the existing marine species at the Visayan Sea.
Among the coastal areas that bound the Visayan Sea are Bogo City and the towns of San Remegio, Daanbantayan, and Medellin.
Bantayan Island, comprising of the towns of Santa Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos, lies within the sea.
Visayan Sea, which is one of the country's largest fishing grounds, is surrounded by the islands of Cebu and Negros to the south; Masbate to the north; Panay to the west; and Leyte to the east.
BFAR-7 has intensified its information drive this month in educating the fisherfolks on the salient provisions of the Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3, the policy which establishes the annual closed season of the Visayan Sea.
The amended administrative order specifies the prohibitions that people should heed to and the penalties for violations.
"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," said Piloton.
He also urged the commercial fishing vessel operators to comply with the policy and avoid encroaching at the portion where fishing of the pelagic species has been banned.
Piloton said BFAR-7 has been collaborating with the involved local government units in holding the information and education campaign and in enforcing the policy on the said period.
The BFAR-7 official is appealing to local officials and authorities to stay vigilant in guarding the Visayan Sea and work with the bureau in its anti-illegal fishing campaign. (jsme/PIA7-Cebu/BFAR-7)