Fishing within the Visayan Sea is prohibited for three months starting Nov. 15, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said.
Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 167-3 series of 2013 established the closed season that specifically prohibits the catching, selling, and marketing of sardines, herring, and mackerel.
BFAR regional director Remia Aparri said the closed season allows herrings, sardines, and mackerels to spawn, thus making fishing sustainable in the Visayan Sea.
“Let us give them time to spawn and grow. In the end, we are still the ones who can benefit from it,” she said in a statement on Friday.
The Visayan Sea is surrounded by 33 cities and municipalities of the provinces of Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, and Masbate.
Around 20 percent of the total production of the said fish species comes from Western Visayas.
Apart from the three fish species, the Visayan Sea is also home to hectares of corals, mangroves, seagrasses, and marine protected areas.
Aparri added the current health pandemic showed the significance of the agri-fishery sector, which provided the primary needs of people.
“As stakeholders, we enjoin everyone to take part in Bantay Visayan Sea while it takes its much deserved pahuway (rest),” she said.
Aparri said the closure of the Visayan Sea last year has boosted the population of the targeted three fish species by about 10 to 20 percent.
The increased population means abundant fish catch both for the municipal and commercial fisheries, she added.