02 FEBRUARY 2021
DA-BFAR LIFTS THREE-MONTH GALUNGGONG CLOSED SEASON IN PALAWAN
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) lifts the three-month closed fishing season on round scad or galunggong in northeastern Palawan on January 31, 2021. This marks the sixth year since it was first implemented in 2015.
The province of Palawan is a major supplier of galunggong in Metro Manila with an average of 95% of galunggong catch landed in Navotas Port coming from Palawan in 2020. With the opening of the galunggong-rich northeastern Palawan, the supply of galunggong in the wet markets of Metro Manila is set to increase. As a result, DA-BFAR is expecting the price of galunggong and other fish commodities to stabilize in the capital region in the coming weeks.
Since 2015, the implementation of closed fishing season in Palawan has continually yielded significant positive results in the production of galunggong in the area. Based on the report of the National Stock Assessment Program of Region IVB, the catch estimates of the species caught by purse seine has increased from 402.13 MT in 2016 to 653.66 MT in 2019, while those caught by ringnet bumped up from 170.97 MT to 285.32 MT during the same period.
DA-BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona said that this consistent and gradual increase in catch of galunggong in the area is a welcome development in the Bureau’s bid to take care of our country’s fishery resources.
“This simply reinforces our firm decision to continue the implementation of the annual closed fishing season in the country’s major fishing grounds, which includes the galunggong-rich Palawan and integrate it in our holistic measures to fisheries management as part of the ‘One DA’ approach, which is anchored on the whole of government approach by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration,” Director Gongona said.
Fisheries management and conservation measures such as closed fishing seasons, including the one in Palawan are advocated by Agriculture Secretary William Dar who calls for ensuring the sustainability of the country’s fisheries resources. He also backs strengthening of science-based policies and full implementation of fishery laws.
During the span of the three-month closed fishing season, the DA-BFAR’s law enforcement group stationed in Region IV-B has continuously conducted monitoring and patrol operations in the area. According to their report, only two fishing vessels were caught violating the order. A joint initiative of the government, the fisheries sector, and other stakeholders through JAO-1, s. 2015, the closed fishing season was initiated to protect and replenish the population of the Decapterus species, also known as galunggong, during its peak spawning season and regulate the use of purse seine, ringnet and bagnet in catching the galunggong within the conservation area northeast of Palawan from November to January every year.
DA-BFAR Region IV-B
Philippine Fisheries Development Authority