The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) on Tuesday announced the lifting of the 3-month long ban on catching galunggong or round scad imposed since November 1 last year in northeastern Palawan.
The lifting of the ban signalled the resumption of commercial fishing of round scads in the fisheries rich waters of Palawan, which provides majority of galunggong supply in Metro Manila.
“The province of Palawan is a major supplier of galunggong in Metro Manila with an average of 95% of galunggong catch landing in Navotas Port coming from Palawan in 2020,” the DA-BFAR said in a statement announcing the lifting of the annual ban.
As a result of the lifting, the DA-BFAR said they are expecting the price of galunggong and other fish commodities to stabilize in Metro Manila in the coming weeks.
The 3-month closed fishing season, with began in 2015 in selected parts of the country, is envisioned to allow important fisheries resource areas to restock and be relieved from overfishing.
Since the implementation of closed fishing season, Palawan has continually yielded significant positive results in the production of galunggong according to DA-BFAR.
“Based on the report of the National Stock Assessment Program of Region IV-B, the catch estimates of the species caught by purse seine has increased from 402.13 MT in 2016 to 653.66 MT in 2019, while those caught by ringnet bumped up from 170.97 MT to 285.32 MT during the same period,” the report stated.
DA-BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona said the consistent and gradual increase in catch of galunggong in the area is a welcome development in the Bureau’s bid to take care of our country’s fishery resources.
Gongona said the closed fishing season in Palawan waters is integrated in the holistic measures to fisheries which is part of the department’s strategy dubbed as ‘One DA’: A Holistic Approach to Agriculture & Fisheries Transformation with a goal to enrich harvest and increase sales.
“This simply reinforces our firm decision to continue the implementation of the annual closed fishing season in the country’s major fishing grounds, which includes the galunggong-rich Palawan and integrate it in our holistic measures to fisheries management as part of the ‘One DA’ approach, which is anchored on the whole of government approach by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration,” Gongona said.
A joint initiative of different government agencies, the fisheries sector, and other stakeholders through JAO-1, s. 2015, the closed fishing season was initiated to protect and replenish the population of the Decapterus species, also known as galunggong, during its peak spawning season and regulate the use of purse seine, ringnet and bagnet in catching the galunggong within the conservation area northeast of Palawan from November to January every year.