No violation was committed against the three-month ban on catching, selling, and buying of sardine, herring, and mackerel species in the Visayan Sea or the Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 167-3 series of 2013 November 15, 2022 to February 15, 2023 based on the records of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region VI (BFAR 6).
This shows that municipal fishers, commercial fishers, traders, and market vendors are compliant with the law and respect the Pahuway sang Baybay despite the pandemic that challenged them and their means of livelihood.
“We are happy to see that our coordination with the municipalities for many years resulted in compliance of the people with the regulation. This management measure is for the people and in the long run, will also benefit the future generation,” said BFAR 6 Regional Director Remia A. Aparri in an interview on Thursday, February 16.
The BFAR 6 established field stations and floating assets in the Provinces of Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental, conducted 26 land-based operations, 22 seaborne patrol operations, and nine pulong-pulong sa barangay. These were complemented by the Pahuway sang Baybay and Bantay Visayan Sea campaigns of BFAR 6 which was done for three consecutive years now online and through radio which enjoined stakeholders and fishing communities to guard the Visayan Sea in their own way.
“Thank you to our NGA partners, LGUs, fisherfolk, and coastal communities for cooperating with BFAR as we implement the closed season for the past three months. We are positive that this will be translated to income for all as we enjoy the immediate results of the closed season. May we remind our LGUs and fishers to use prescribed mesh sizes (not less than 3cm) and types of fishing gear so that our efforts will not go to waste. Let us continue to work together for sustainable fisheries management in the Visayan Sea,” RD Aparri added.
The Enforcement and Regional MCS Operations Center (ERMCSOC) of BFAR6led the monitoring and surveillance operations involving the municipal, provincial, and regional law enforcement teams such as the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing in collaboration with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) VI, Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Regional Office VI, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), Philippine Coast Guard Western Visayas (PCGWV), Philippine Navy, Regional Maritime Group, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) VI, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) VI, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) VI, Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) VI, and Bureau of Customs–Port of Iloilo.
The Visayan Sea Closed Season covers a vast area of roughly 5,800 square kilometers including the national waters and municipal waters of Masbate, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, and Cebu.