THE National Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (NFARMC) unanimously approved that sardines fishing season in East-Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait and Sibuguey Bay in the Zamboanga peninsula be adjusted a month earlier simultaneous to the implementation of closed fishing season for small pelagics, including sardines in the Visayan sea.
Starting this year, the waters of East-Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait and Sibuguey Bay will be closed for sardines’ fishing from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, 2024.
The adjustment stemmed from a research conducted under the National Stock Assessment Program of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) in Region 9, which shows that the spawning period of mature sardines peaks during October until January.
“Our policies are continuously subjected to reviews and assessments. If scientific researchers find our measures in need of improvement, then we commit to modifying our programs based on scientific evidence,” DA-BFAR National Director Atty. Demosthenes Escoto said.
Under a provision of the BFAR Administrative Circular No. 255 s. of 2014, the implementation of the closed season must be constantly reviewed by BFAR, NFRDI, the academe and industry experts to determine the best management strategy that would ensure the sustainability and conservation of the sardines.