IMPLEMENTATION of the closed season for fishing at the Davao Gulf had resulted better catch for local fisher folks in Davao Region, said Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) official.
During the culmination of the 4th year implementation last August 31 of the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 02 or the 3-month closed season for fishing at the BFAR Davao Regional Office, Magsaysay Avenue, regional director Fatma Idris said that the JAO 02 had several positive impacts since its implementation four years ago.
“We had reduced the number of illegal fishers because there are no longer operations using bag net and fish nets. There is also increased number of larger fishes in Davao Gulf. This has also created awareness among the local government units (LGUs) and the stakeholders regarding the importance of the sea,” Idris said.
The JAO 02 is in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Idris is also confident that as they opened the fishing season for the year once again, the local fisher folks will have sufficient catch especially that the region has a tuna nursery.
Undersecretary for fisheries and BFAR national director Commodore Eduardo Gongona added some fishes from Indonesia are also coming here in our seas as well.
“After the closed fishing season, there is already a considerable 25 to 30 percent additional production from the usual productions that we are having here. We implement this closed fishing season to ease up the overfishing in our ocean. BFAR and the whole of DA implement this because we would like to see that our ocean is abundant and clean without illegal fishing going on. Our fish habitat should be well taken care of,” said Gongona, adding that the success of the implementation is dependent on the local government units of every province and municipalities and the participation of the local fisher folks.
During the closed fishing season, use of bag nets and small-holed fish nets are prohibited and only fish line fishing is allowed.
During the 3-month hiatus, Gongona said the fishermen and their wives are given livelihood activities for additional income while waiting for the open fishing season again.
“We give support and government intervention that they need. Our marginal fisher folks who experienced closed fishing season were given P3,000 monthly incentive during the three-month period that they are prohibited from fishing. We also give them other livelihood like the cash-for-work where we teach them banca making. The fiber glass boats that we give out to them are actually made by the recipients themselves. Every one banca is owned by two families. We also teach the women food processes such as fish deboning,” Gongona said.