Fisherfolk urged to guard Davao's municipal waters

A FISHERFOLK cooperative officer urged good governance of the municipal seas in Davao Region especially during closed season to help local small-scale fisher folks catch more come open season.

Barog Katawhan Multi-Purpose Cooperative manager Jerry dela Cerna said the efforts alone of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the local government units are not enough to guard the seas from illegal fishing.

He pointed out the limited manpower that these agencies have and so he urged the fishermen themselves to keep watch of the seas during closed season and to report any suspicious boats.

For three months, starting June to end of August, closed season was implemented in Davao Gulf to give time for breeding fishes and for juvenile to grow and mature. This is part of the fourth year implementation of Joint Administrative Order 02 of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Interior and Local Government tagged as “Establishing a Closed Season for the Conservation of Small Pelagic Fishes in Davao Gulf.”

According to dela Cerna during the three-month suspension of fishing at Davao Gulf, there were a few fisher folks texting him about commercial and large-scale fishers that were still fishing despite of the temporary closure.

“The BFAR has limited people, and so does the armed forces, the Philippine National Police, and the coastguard. Much as we want to guard our seas, we have very limited people. That’s why, you the fisher folks should be very aware of what is going on around and to report immediately,” said dela Cerna, in vernacular.

Dela Cerna is former mayor of Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental, a fishing town.

Dela Cerna said he pities the local fisher folks who are working hard on top of strict observance of the closed season of fishing, and yet they are being taken advantaged of larger fishing companies. He added the distributed boats and the new fish ports will be put to waste if there are no more fishes to fish come open season.
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