As fishing season resumes, Celso thanks fishing sector for cooperation PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 March 2012 13:45

Mayor Celso Lobregat has expressed appreciation to the fishing sector specifically those engaged in commercial fishing for having fully supported and cooperated with the government-initiated fishing ban from December 1 to March 1.

The mayor said this, as the government’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Thursday, March 1 formally announced in a meeting the resumption of fishing for sardines in the Sulu Sea, a signal for the 11 canneries to resume operations and for the some two dozen fishing fleets in the city to resume fishing for sardines in the seas.

In a message during the meeting held at a local hotel with BFAR National Director Asis Perez presiding, Mayor Lobregat expressed optimism that the 3-month closed fishing season imposed by the government will pave the way for an increase in fish products for the benefit of both the fishing sector and the fish resources in the area.

He also expressed confidence that the continuous studies being conducted by authorities on the closed fishing season will definitely aid concerned agencies in coming up with decisions as to “when to do it (fishing ban) and how to do it”.

The mayor recalled the dispute that initially rocked the BFAR and the canning and fishing sectors in the city, over the start of the closed season period. The BFAR wanted to impose the fishing ban effective Nov. 1 but the fishing sector opted to start Dec. 1, the period that the group has adopted ever since. To diffuse the tension, the mayor has recommended a transition period in the imposition of the fishing ban pending validation of data through joint studies- a recommendation approved by the national government.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) sometime August last year issued a joint administrative order (AO) establishing a closed season for the conservation of sardines with a transitory provision setting the period this year from December 1, 2011 to March 1, 2012.

Under the joint AO signed by DA Secretary Proceso Alcala and DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, the closed season for the first year of implementation shall be from Dec. 1, 2011 to March 1, 2012 “subject to the conduct of peer review before and after this period, by scientists from the BFAR and the academe and industry experts, to determine which between the months of November and December, both peak spawning months of sardines in the conservation area based on available scientific studies, should the closed season commence that would best ensure the non-extinction and conservation of the species.” — Sheila Covarrubias