Proposed commercial fishing ban in Davao Gulf down to 3 months

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014


THE proposed four-month commercial fishing ban within the Davao Gulf was cut down to only three months, an official said.

The proposed ban is a Joint Administrative Order (JAO) issued by the Department of Agriculture in Davao Region (DA-11) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) 11.

Fatima M. Idris, regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 11, in an interview, told Sun.Star Davao that it was decided by the National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFarmc) that the banning of commercial fishing in the Davao Gulf would be from June to August instead of June to September.

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The decision was made after it was presented to and deliberated by the NFarmc in February.

"According to the deliberating body, they need to cut it down to be consistent with the other fishing ban periods in the country like in Zamboanga," she said.

Idris said the proposed ban has been endorsed for approval by DA Sec. Proceso J. Alcala and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. Currently, it is under legal review by the BFAR national office.

She said those who will only be affected are those in the commercial fishing industry. According to the JAO, commercial fishers are those who are using fishing vessels that have 3.1 gross tons to more than 150-gross ton capacity. Idris also said ring and bag nets will not be allowed during the fishing season.

She said only boats that have 3-gross ton capacity and below will be allowed to fish using hook and lines.

Idris said the ban will allow time for the fishes to recover their number.

From June to August, she said, is the spawning season of many species in the gulf.

She said the three months rest given to the fishes will not only benefit the marine life but also the livelihood of the fishermen.

Idris said when the commercial ban in Zamboanga was implemented around three years ago, it gave time for the population of sardines to recover, "Now, there is a spillover effect to other parts of Mindanao brought by the increase in population of not only the sardines but also other fishes as well," she said, adding that it has been reported that Regions 10 and 12 are reaping the benefits of the population rise of the fish.

Idris said the increase in number of fishes will improve the food chain in the marine ecosystem because bigger fish, like tuna, will return to the seas.

She said they are hoping the JAO will be approved in or before June.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 20, 2014.

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