3-month sardine fishing ban in ZamPen kicks off

Mayor John Dalipe joins the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and other stakeholders during the 13th Send-Off Ceremony for the Sardines Closed Season at the Officers’ Club of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Command (NAVFORWEM) in Calarian, Tuesday, November 14.

This year, the annual 3-month ban on sardine fishing will be from November 15, 2023 (instead of December 1) to February 15, 2024 and will include East Sulu, Basilan Strait and Sibugay Bay, which is simultaneous with the implementation of the closed fishing season in the Visayan sea, according to Agriculture Undersecretary Drusila Esther Bayote.

Mayor Dalipe commended the BFAR under the Department of Agriculture, along with other agencies and the fishing sector for the commitment in conserving and preserving marine resources for future generation. “This is a collective commitment to the prosperity of our city, the resilience of our region and the overarching goal of national food sustainability.”

Dalipe likewise thanked the members of the sardine industry based in the city for their cooperation and unwavering commitment to responsible fishing process.

The period of the ban is moved 15 days earlier (Nov. 15 instead of Dec. 1) which coincides with the spawning period of various sardines varieties, based on recent studies.

The closed season for the conservation of sardines is embodied in BFAR Administrative Circular (BAC) No. 255 with the goal of allowing sardines to complete reproduction function and for them to spawn.

During the closed season, fishing personnel, mostly from big sardine and canning factories, are prohibited from catching “tamban” or sardines to enhance propagation of the species. The conservation area is more than 6,000-square nautical miles encompassing the western municipal waters of Zamboanga del Norte, the waters bordering south and east of Zamboanga City, and the southern portion of Zamboanga Sibugay. (Sheila Covarrubias)