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Thousands affected

BFAR XI introduces alternative livelihood to help sustain 8,000 fisherfolks

By Gabrielle Ariadne Aguilar/AdDU Intern

ROUGHLY 8,000 registered fisherfolks would be affected by the closed season for Davao Gulf from June 1 to Aug. 31 to allow small pelagic fishes to grow. 

In an interview, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources XI regional director Raul C. Millan said they plan on providing alternative livelihoods for the affected families, including seaweed and seashell farming. 

Catching small pelagic fishes in the Davao Gulf during the three-month closed season is prohibited. The ban also covers fishing using small-holed nets and active gears such as the bagnet and ringnet.

Violators will face a fine of P20,000 or three times the value of the catch, whichever is the higher concerning provisions of RA 10654 amending RA 8550 for municipal fishing.

For commercial fishing, the penalties imposed will range from P100,000 to P500,000 or five times the value of the catch, whichever is higher. Offenders also face imprisonment of six months to one day up to six years.

The closed season proved effective as there was an increase in catch despite the exploitation of juvenile species from 2020 to 2023. 

“I urge you to continuously show your support for this undertaking. If ever ang BFAR lang, pasagdan (mi) ninyo, dili namo ni makaya (BFAR can’t do it alone),” Millan said. 

Atty. Rachel Mernil Maratas-Bacera, BFAR XI regional adjudication committee hearing officer, shared the significant progress of fisherfolks in abiding by the fisheries code.

BFAR XI data showed that from January to May 31 of this year, only ten violations were docketed compared to the 35 violations in Davao Region last year. 

“So, makaingon gyud ta na successful ang atuang conservation measures. Makita nato sa atuang apprehension when it comes sa closed season kay nakakunho gyud siya or most like(ly) wala gyud siya, or minimal gyud kaayo (So, we can say that our conservation measures are successful. We can see it on the apprehensions when it comes to the closed season since it is decreasing, or there is none, or just minimal),” Bacera said.

Bacera mentioned that 225 violations were recorded from 2015-2023, with the majority under Section 86 of the Republic Act 10654, or unauthorized fishing or fishing without a permit or license. Davao Oriental had the highest number of recorded violations based on the 2015-2023 data, with 58.

BFAR XI urged partnered agencies, law enforcers, and stakeholders to participate in conservation efforts.


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