ILOILO CITY -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Western Visayas Region has declared a three-month closed fishing season starting on Wednesday, November 15, to allow for the spawning of sardines, herrings and mackerels in the Visayan Sea.
BFAR-Western Visayas director Remia Aparri said that they had already coordinated with local government units in the region to make sure that fisherfolk would follow the three-month fishing ban until February 2018 as mandated by the Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3.
The kick-off program for the declaration of the closed season will be held at Bakhawan Cultural Center in Barangay Bakhawan, Daanbantayan, Cebu City on Wednesday to be joined by concerned agencies from Panay, Negros, Cebu and Masbate.
A P6,000 fine, imprisonment of six months to six years depending on the gravity of offense, and forfeiture of the catch and cancellation of fishing permits or license await violators, Aparri said.
Under the FAO 167-3, catching, killing, selling or possession of sexually-mature sardines, herrings and mackerels or their larvae, fry or young known locally as “lupoy,” “silinyasi,” linatsay” or “manansi” in the portion of the Visayan Sea and adjoining waters enclosed by line drawn through following points and coastlines are prohibited.
The Visayan Sea stretches from the mouth of Danac River on the northeastern tip of the Bantayan Island to Madridejos, to the lighthouse on Gigantes Island, to Clutaya Island, to Culasi Point in Capiz province, eastward along the northern coast of Capiz to Bulacaue Point in Carles, 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.
Despite the closed season, Aparri assured that the fish supply in the region would not be affected.
She also encouraged fisherfolk to follow the closed season and report if there are violators in their area. (PNA)