Implementation of three-month fishing ban on herrings, mackerels, sardines in Visayan Sea begins

ILOILO CITY -- The three-month ban on catching three different species along the Visayan Sea has begun Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Fishing boats at the port of Concepcion, a town in northern Iloilo province. (Tara Yap/File/Tara Yap)

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-6) stressed that fishermen are not allowed to catch and trade herrings, mackerels and sardines until the middle of February next year.

“This will last until February 15, 2023,” BFAR-6 Regional Director Remia Aparri told Manila Bulletin in a Tuesday phone interview.

Appari said the three-month ban aims to reverse the depleting population of the three fishes along the Visayan Sea, considered as the country’s richest fishing ground.

“This closed season will give enough time for herrings, mackerels and sardines to breed and boost their population,” explained Aparri.

Areas covered by the closed season are northeastern tip of Bantayan Island in Cebu province; Gigantes Island in Iloilo province; Olutayan Island to Culasi Point in Capiz province; westward of Guimaras Strait; and northern coast of Negros Island.

BFAR-6 is urging local governments to step up in implementing the fishing ban.

Meanwhile, BFAR is conducting a series of dialogues and information campaigns this month, particularly for fishing communities in northern Iloilo province.