MANILA — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Wednesday said the fishing season in the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Visayan Sea will be closed beginning Nov. 15, 2023.
“The government will be enforcing a three-month pause in sardines fishing activities in the conservation area through the annual implementation of the Bureau Administrative Circular No. 255,” the BFAR said in a statement.
“This initiative covers one of the country's largest sardines fishing grounds: the rich and bountiful waters of the Zamboanga Peninsula, which includes East Sulu, Basilan Strait, and Sibugay Bay.”
BFAR earlier set the closed-fishing season from Dec. 1, 2023 to Mar. 1, 2024, but decided to adjust the schedule citing a research.
The adjustment stemmed from a research under its National Stock Assessment Program and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute in Region 9 which showed that spawning of mature sardines peaks during the months of October until January.
The National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council approved the closed-fishing season adjustment.
Meanwhile, catching, selling, and buying of sardines and mackerel, and herring in a portion of the marine biodiversity-rich Visayan Sea is prohibited.
“This is to conserve and protect the economically-important species in the said fishing ground during their spawning period,” the BFAR said.
Fishing season in both areas will be closed until Feb. 15, 2024. (PNA)