The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will ban sardines fishing in Macajalar Bay from December this year to February 2018.

The decision is based on a study by Mindanao State University (MSU)-Naawan, indicating that sardines, locally known as “tamban,” hatch their eggs during this period in the bay, BFAR Misamis Oriental Provincial Director Teodoro Bacolod said.

To effectively enforce the ban, Bacolod said BFAR has already requested the legislative councils of all 15 local government units (LGUs) surrounding Macajalar Bay to enact ordinances for the purpose.

The cities of Cagayan de Oro and El Salvador, the municipalities of Alubijid, Balingasag, Binuangan, Jasaan, Kinoguitan, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Opol, Salay, Sugbongcogon, Tagoloan and Villanueva and the province of Misamis Oriental are all located within the bay’s shoreline.

Bacolod said the Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group will help implement the ban once ordinances are in effect.

He said he was dismayed after patrolling the Opol shoreline recently and discovered that fisherfolk are harvesting sardine fingerlings from the bay.

“One pail of fingerlings is already equal to 40 pails of adult sardines. If they are not allowed to spawn, we will lose our sardine population in Macajalar Bay,” Bacolod said.

He said there are other fish species in the bay such as the Philippine anchovy that fisherfolk could haul in during the closed season for sardines. (PNA/MDF)

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