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Visayas fishing ban seen to boost production

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The three-month fishing ban in the Visayan Sea which will start on Nov. 15 is expected to boost production by 20 percent in one of the country’s richest fishing grounds.

Remia Aparri, regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Western Visayas, said Friday the closed fishing season will allow the yearly spawning of sardines, herrings, and mackerels.

“We hope to maintain or even increase production by at least 20 percent,” Aparri said.

In Western Visayas, the annual fish production is almost 400,000 metric tons.

BFAR’s Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 167-3 prescribes the three-month fishing ban until February 15 next year, but it may be extended until March depending on the result of the study being conducted particularly on the “changing” spawning pattern of fish.

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FAO 167-3 prohibits the catching, killing, selling or possession of sexually-mature sardines, herrings and mackerels or their larvae, fry or young known locally as “lupoy,” “silinyasi,” linatsay” or “manansi” in the portion of the Visayan Sea and adjoining waters enclosed by lines drawn through following points and coastlines.

Violators will be penalized with P6,000 fine, imprisonment of six months to six years depending on the gravity of offense, and forfeiture of the catch and cancellation of fishing permits or license.

Aparri said the BFAR-6 noted a minimal number of violators last year, which can be attributed to a higher level of awareness among fisherfolk, resulting from intensified seaborne patrol activities as well as information and education campaigns.

Aparri said the BFAR-6 will further intensify the implementation of the fishing ban, with the province of Capiz now involved through the Visayan Sea Project.

“Capiz is now on board unlike before that the operation is just limited to northern portions of Iloilo, Negros and Cebu and part of Masbate,” she said.

Aparri said they plan to hold the kick-off program for the declaration of the closed fishing season in Capiz.

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