It will be enforced starting July 1, 2012 to give time to the massive information drive relative to the ordinance, said Rojas.
Called to attend the meeting were chiefs of police and Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officers (Menros) and Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) presidents of the coastal municipalities of Dumangas, Anilao, Banate, Barotac Viejo, Ajuy, Concepcion, San Dionisio, Sara, Batad, Balasan, Estancia, Carles and Barotac Nuevo.
Carles Mayor Arnold Betita also attended the meeting where he recommended that a “close season” on the catching of blue crabs be implemented.
The ordinance aims to help protect and conserve the declining stock and sustain the production level of blue crabs in the province.
The Committee on Aquatic Resources conducted two public hearings last year prior to the passage of the ordinance.
It was learned that fisherfolks catch volumes of blue crabs, including gravid and undersized ones, using very efficient gears resulting to declining catch and destruction of the species’ habitat like sea grasses.
Violation of the ordinance shall subject the offender to imprisonment from six months to one year and fine of P5,000 or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court.
The ordinance also states that the provincial government, the municipality, people's organizations and other certified NGOs/FARMCs shall formulate monitoring and evaluation guidelines and mechanism to carry out the provisions of the ordinance, provided, that these guidelines and mechanism shall be subject to review as may be deemed necessary by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. (ECGarcia)