Orientation forum on ‘close sardine fishing season’ set today in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 August 2011 16:15

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-9 (BFAR-9) will conduct today an orientation forum on the bureau’s Sardine Management Plan which includes the study on the spawning season of the sardinella species (tamban) and the proposed Close Season on Sardine Fishing scheduled from November 1 to February 1 will be discussed.

Sardine Management Plan has been jointly crafted by BFAR-9 and the fishing and Sardine industry sectors in the region.

BFAR-9 explained that the initial step of this plan is to support and protect the reproduction of sardinella (Tamban) species by way of allowing the fish to spawn during the peak spawning season from the month of November 1 to February 1. The noble purpose of this plan is to promote sustainability of Sardine resource at its optimum reproduction capacity while at the same time maintaining profitability of operation of the fishing and the processing companies in Region 9.

The key resource person in the forum is  Atty. Asis G. Perez, BFAR National Director, while parcipants will be headed by Mayor Celso L. Lobregat.
This developed as the Industrial Group of Zamboanga (IGZ) has written Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala urging him to delay the approval and signing of the Fishery Administrative order on the Close Sardine Fishing Season citing three reasons:

1. It is illegal as there was no adequate and substantial consultation with the industry stakeholders when it was proposed. Even when the current NFARMC and BFAR National Director changed the agreement there were no industry representatives present. The close fishing season from November 1 to February 1 every year of the next five (5) years is not back up by recent and validated date and statistics.

2. It will result into havoc as the corresponding alternative livelihood program for the “temporarily displaced workers” are not yet put in place.

3. It will also result in unnecessary and undue increases in the prices of canned sardines in the market due to a supply problem as the industry (Fishing and Canning) were not enough time to prepare.

IGZ had earlier wanred that some 30,000 workers from the fishing and canning industries in Zamboanga City and other parts of the region will be out of job for four to five months, retail prices of canned sardines are estimated to increase by 20% this coming months and there will be acute supply shortage (of canned sardines) by the first quarter of next year in the event the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will pushthrough with the implementation of the so-called Close Fishing Season starting November 1 up to February 2012.

IGZ said the sudden change of schedule was made by the new BFAR National Director without any consultation among the major stakeholders in the Zamboanga Peninsula region comprising the fishing and canning sectors and the labor sector.

Moreover, IGZ said the fishing and sardines industries in Zampen were not represented by any NFARMC member in the July 22 BFAR conference in Tagaytay . “Instead, there were Vietnamese visitors that were made to join the Tagaytay activity for picture taking.”