The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Palawan reiterated that catching of galunggong (round scad) is still in effect in the northeast part of the province.
According to Merna Candelario, officer in-charge of the Inland Sea Ranching Station of BFAR , the galunggong being sold in the public market might have been caught from the “unrestricted” area. She said that the ban is only in the northeast part of Palawan and does not cover the whole province.
“Those who will be caught will face charges for violation the Fisheries Code of the Philippines,” Candelario said.
She said that he seasonal fishing ban will ensure the sustainability of galunggong’s dropping population brought by overfishing.
“By imposing this, we believe it will give galunggong the time to reproduce during its peak spawning period,” Candelario told PALAWAN NEWS.
In a BFAR study conducted from 2002 to 2012, the volume of galunggong caught in Palawan that landed in the Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC) showed a 40% decline from metric tons of 88,601 down to 38,842.
Candelario said their study also shows galunggong is diminishing in size; only scaling now 16.39 cm from its previous size of up to 17.6 cm.
Knowing the fact that it is considered as the poor man’s fish, Candelario added staple fish might still be available in the market since the order permits fishers to catch it using only gill nets, and provided the catch will not exceed 10% of their total catch.
Banned fishing gears, on the other hand, are ring net, bag net and purse seine, which are found to be acquiring in bulk of pelagic fishes like galunggong, she added.
To police the seas northeast of Palawan, Candelario said the bureau will dispatch patrol boats that will be roving in the area identified as the concentration of commercial and small fishing vessels.