Sardines closed season in Zamboanga starts

FISHERIES Director Asis Perez remains confident of another successful sardine closed season in Zamboanga beginning December 1 this year as he joined representatives of fishing and canning companies, local governments and fisherfolk associations in sending–off the first batch of the Joint PCG-BFAR Sardine Seaborne Patrol teams on-board MCS vessels and patrol boats last November 30 in Zamboanga City.

Perez said that he was overwhelmed by the outpour of support from the commercial fishing sector in sharp contrast with the rallies staged last year in the same area. The Joint DA-DILG Administrative Order No. 1 s. 2011 indicated that the conservation area of about 4,078 sq. nautical miles includes the western municipal and national waters of Zamboanga del Norte, the waters bordering south and eastern waters of Zamboanga Ctity and the southern portion of Zamboanga Sibugay.

“I would like to assure you that with the same cooperation and compliance of the sector, there is no doubt that we will gain successful results by the time the ban is lifted come February 28 next year,” he happily added.

Close to 150 stakeholders gathered to extend support and well wishes to the combined sea patrol teams at the Naval headquarters in Zamboanga City recently.

“The sardine industry fully supports this closed season,” says Mr. Edgar Lim, plant manager of Permex. He further stressed the need to ensure the sustainability of the resource in order for the canneries to maintain its operations.

Meanwhile, the United Fishermen Multi-Purpose Cooperative (UFMPC) of Samal Village, Maluso in Basilan was optimistic that their problem on fishing encroachment in the municipal waters could also be addressed with the implementation of the Joint DA-DILG Administrative Order No. 1 s. 2011.

Southern Philippines Deep-Sea Fishing Association Vice-President Roberto Baylosis indicated the need for a long-term research on the said management measure for term development of the sardine industry.

At least 37 officers and members of the PCG will join 18 members of the BFAR Quick Response Teams from regions 9 and ARMM to ensure full compliance to the regulation by fishing boats using commercial purse seines, ring nets, bagnets and scoop nets.

In the Visayan Sea, a parallel closed season is also being observed since November 15 until March 15 next year. Both fishing closures are part of the conservation measures that the BFAR is currently implementing to address the continued decline in the population of sardines.

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