THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has declared November 15, 2017 to February 15, 2018, as closed season for sardines, herrings and mackerels fishing, as provided in the Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 167-3.
A BFAR media release said that FAO 167-3 prohibits the catching, killing, selling or processing the sexually mature sardines, herrings and mackerels or their larvae, fry or young known locally as “lupoy,” “silinyasi,” “linatsay,” or “manansi.”
This covers the portion of the Visayan Sea and adjoining waters enclosed by line drawn through the following points and coastlines: from the mouth of the Danac River on the northeastern tip of the Bantayan Island to Madridejos, through the lighthouse on Gigantes Island, to Clutaya island, to Culasi Point in Capiz province, eastward along the northern coast of Capiz to Bulucaue Point in Varles, Iloilo, southward along the eastern coast of Iloilo to the mouth of Talisay River, westward across the Guimaras Strait to Tomonton Point in Occidental Negros, eastward along the northern Coast of the Island of Negros and back to the mouth of Danao River in Escalante, Negros Occidental.
FAO 167-3 also provides that offenders will be imprisoned for six months and one day to six years and/or fine of P6,000 and forfeiture of the catch and cancellation of fishing permit or license.
According to BFAR, sardines, herrings and mackerels are three of the most plentiful of group of fishes in the Visayan Sea, the rich fishing ground bordered by the islands of Panay, Negros, Cebu and Masbate.
These groups of fishes ranked first in marine municipal fishery and third in commercial fishery production in the country.
Declaration of the closed season, BFAR said, is in pursuit of creating sustainability for these rich fisheries resources for future generations. (PIA-Iloilo)