Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
March 15, 2013
Closed Season for Sardines, Herrings, and Mackerels in the Visayan Sea Ends Today, March 15, 2013
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will end the implementation of the 4-month closed season on the catching of sardines, herrings, and mackerel in the Visayan Sea and its surrounding waters today, March 15, 2013
Assistant National Director and concurrently Regional Director of BFAR Region 6, Drucila Esther Bayate will lead a simple ceremony for the open season that will be attended by various stakeholders in Iloilo City on March 20, 2013.
Bayate said that although the closed season has been in existence since 1989, it was only late last year that the law was seriously implemented and observed with the full cooperation of all commercial fishing operators fishing in the area as well as the LGUs and other stakeholders.
The bureau had deployed 3 patrol vessels and 2 BOP 28 footer patrol boats in the said waters to ensure that the closed season is strictly followed. So far no major violations during the period were reported by the composite team of the Philippine Coast Guard and the BFAR Fisheries Law Enforcement group.
The Visayan Seas is a major fishing ground for sardines, herrings, and mackerels. It has contributed at least 1.15 percent of the total production of sardines and mackerels in the last five years according to BAS statistics. However, production declined steadily prompting the bureau to seriously implement the closed season.
Moreover, studies on the sardine population in the Visayan Seas indicate its similarity with the population in the BASULTA (Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) waters. A similar closed season is also being observed in the latter for the past two years.
Bayate said that the BFAR will continue to study the outcomes of the implementation of the closed season in both waters to ensure the sustainability of the sardine and mackerel stocks.