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Sardines fishing closed season starts December 1

November 24, 2020 - Tuesday 8:11 PM by PNA

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ZAMBOANGA CITY – All is set for the annual three-month Closed-Season for the Conservation of Sardines from December 1 to March 1 in East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait, and Sibuguey Bay.

The closed season for sardines fishing will be marked by a send-off ceremony on December 1 for the deployment of patrol vessels of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), DA-BFAR MCS-3003, and DA-BFAR MMPB, alongside with that of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group.

BFAR-Region 9 director Isidro Velayo Jr. will lead the send-off ceremony at the Ben Go Wharf in Barangay Baliwasan here.

Based on BFAR Administrative Circular 255, sardine fishing in the three water bodies is suspended each year from December 1 to March 1 of the succeeding year to accommodate the three-month spawning period of fish species, Velayo said.

The sardines are species of fish belonging to the family Clupeidae including but not limited to Sardinella lemuru (Bali sardinella)-with local names: tamban-tuloy, tuloy, tunsoy, and haul-haul; Amblygaster sirm (spotted sardinella) – tamban-kasig, kasig; Sardinella fimbriata (fimbriated sardines) -tamban-lapad, tabagak, laolao, tunsoy and iiryan; Sardinella gibbosa (gold stripe sardinella) –tamban-yapad; Dussumiera acuta (round dwarf herring)-tulis, balantiyog, and hilos-hilos.

Since it was first implemented in 2011, Velayo said the closed season has resulted in the upward trend in the sardines' catch each year.

In 2019, BFAR-9 recorded a total catch of 208,800 metric tons of sardines, 11 percent higher than the 188,839 metric ton catch in 2018.

Velayo has urged coastal communities and commercial fishing operators to cooperate with the bureau in its effort to manage, conserve, and protect the country’s fishery resource.

He warned that violators of the closed fishing season policy would be meted with penalties based on the provisions of Republic Act 8550, otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. Teofilo Garcia Jr.