Town bans brown seaweeds gathering-A A +A
Sunday, April 15, 2012
DAANBANTAYAN has banned the gathering of brown seaweeds to protect the town’s coastal ecosystem.
The Daanbantayan municipal ordinance providing for the ban was approved by the Provincial Board, even though its committee on environment noted that the measure “touches sensitive legal and technical issues.”
PB Member Thadeo Ouano, in a committee report, said the body opted not to take a position on the ordinance for this reason.
Ouano, chairman of the committee on environment at the PB, said they have asked for advice from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7.
BFAR 7 said in a letter to the PB that brown seaweed, locally known as samo, supports a diverse ecosystem.
BFAR supports the ban or regulation on seaweed gathering, saying over-extraction could have adverse impacts on marine ecosystems.
The PB lauded the town council for passing the ordinance, saying the management and protection of natural resources in an area is the primary responsibility of the local government.
The PB advised Daanbantayan officials to collect registration and license fees from qualified seaweed gatherers, which was also suggested by BFAR.
The environment committee pointed out that this was not stated in the ordinance.
A fisheries administrative order issued by BFAR regulates harvesting and gathering of sargassum and tasks local government units to monitor and ensure sustainable harvesting of samo.
According to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, sargassum is a free-floating seaweed found offshore, which provide habitat to many marine animals, including tuna, sea turtles and dolphins.
The seaweed is used as ingredient for animal feed production.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 15, 2012.