The National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) unanimously approved through a resolution the adjustment in the implementation of the closed fishing season for sardines in the waters off the Zamboanga peninsula.
Starting this year, the waters of East-Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait, and Sibuguey Bay will be closed to sardine fishing from November 15 to February 15, a measure simultaneous to the implementation of closed fishing season for small pelagics including sardines in the Visayan sea.
The adjustment stems from a research conducted under the National Stock Assessment Program of the BFAR and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) in Region 9, which shows that the spawning period of mature sardines peaks during the months of October until January. The previous duration of the closed season from December 1 to March 1 excluded the month of November.
“Our policies are continuously subjected to reviews and assessments. If scientific researches find our measures in need of improvement, then, we commit to modifying our programs based on scientific evidence,” DA-BFAR National Director Atty. Demosthenes Escoto said.
Under a provision of the BFAR Administrative Circular No. 255 s. of 2014, the implementation of the closed season must be constantly reviewed by BFAR, NFRDI, the academe, and industry experts to determine the best management strategy that would ensure the sustainability and conservation of the sardines.