BFAR 7 addresses low production, imposes fishing ban for 3 months

BFAR 7 addresses low production, imposes fishing ban for 3 months

TO ADDRESS the alarming decline in fish production in the region, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR 7) has initiated a three-month fishing ban on specific species in various locations across the Visayan Sea.

This closed fishing season is implemented under the Fisheries Administrative Order 167-3, which has been effective starting last Wednesday, Nov. 15 until Feb. 15, 2024.

BFAR 7 spokesperson Laila Bragat, in an interview on Thursday, Nov. 16, said the low fish production is due to illegal fishing activities, such as the illicit use of commercial fishing methods and fine mesh nets.

She said the ban or the implementation of a closed fishing season aims to facilitate fish propagation and ensure the conservation of crucial species, such as sardines, herrings and mackerel in the Visayan Sea fishing grounds.

Under the order, the catching, killing, selling, or possessing of sexually mature sardines, herrings, mackerels, or their offspring known locally as “lupoy,” “silinyasi,” “linatsay,” or “manansi” is strictly prohibited.

Specific areas

Bragat said the regulation focuses on the portion of the Visayan Sea and adjoining waters marked by defined geographic points and coastlines. Bantayan Island in Cebu is the most affected by this regulation.

The restricted area spans from the mouth of Danao River in Escalante, Negros Oriental up to the northeastern tip of Bantayan Island to the town of Madridejos, passing through the lighthouse on Gigantes Island, Clutaya Island, Culasi Point in Capiz province, and eastward along the northern coast of Capiz to Bulacaue Point in Carles, Iloilo.

It extends southward along the eastern coast of Iloilo to the mouth of Talisay River, westward across the Guimaras Strait to Tomonton Point in Occidental Negros, and finally eastward along the northern coast of the Island of Negros, concluding at the mouth of Danao River in Escalante, Negros Occidental.

Bragat said the strategic implementation of the fishing ban aims to allow the marine ecosystem in the Visayan Sea to recover and flourish, ensuring the sustainability of fisheries for future generations.


A SunStar report in June, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, noted a two consecutive year decline in annual fishery production in the region.

In 2022, Central Visayas recorded a total fish production of 79,280 metric tons, marking a significant 46 percent decrease from the 2021 production of 146,710 metric tons. This 2021 figure already represented a seven percent drop from the fish production recorded in 2020, which stood at 157,410 metric tons.

In 2022, Central Visayas saw seaweed leading the fishery production at 13,221.98 metric tons (MT), followed by fimbriated sardines (7,970.88 MT), big-eyed scad (4,087.60 MT), round scad (3,376.97 MT), anchovies (3,363.95 MT), siganid or rabbitfish (3,196.38 MT), milkfish or bangus (2,894.51 MT), squid (1,877.34 MT), flying fish (1,794.40 MT), and Bali sardinella (1,720.11 MT).


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