By Emme Rose Santiagudo
The implementation of the three-month closed season on the Visayan Sea is seen to increase the population of three fish species in the area by 10 to 20 percent, according to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Western Visayas.
BFAR Regional Director Remia Aparri said they are expecting increases in sardines, herrings (tamban/tabagak/tamban-tuloy) and mackerels (hasa-hasa/gumaa/bulao/alumahan) in the Visayan Sea.
“Ang accomplishment naton diri mapadamo naton ang tatlo ka species because na-reduce naton ang fishing for these species because of our implementation of our closed season. We are expecting the increase by 10 to 20 percent although we are still analyzing the data,” he said in an interview on Thursday.
The three-month closed season is enforced through Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 167-3 series of 2013 which prohibits the catching, selling and marketing of sardines, herring and mackerel species.
The fishing ban which was implemented from November last year to February 2020 was officially lifted on Sunday.
After the three-month ban, Aparri said the increase of population of sardines, herrings, and mackerels can be translated into abundant supply of fishing stocks in markets.
“Most likely, these fish species will flood the markets. Meanwhile, commercial fisherfolks have their own target markets and they have their own storage facilities to stock their fish products,” she added.
Fisherfolks who participated in the closed season can also expect an increase in their income with the sustainable amount of harvest.
“Mataas ang fish stocks then mataas man ila income including other dependents like traders and vendors. They will have increased economic activities, pwede sila kabaligya or iprocess nila ukon ugahon then it will be value-adding. It increases the price of the fish so it also increases their income,” she said.
Fish species from Visayan Sea are distributed in the local domestic market while dried fish products are even exported to the US, Aparri added.