Some fishermen and live fish traders are urging the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and the provincial government to move the close season of catching leopard trout or suno from March to May instead of its regular schedule November to March.
Provincial information officer Winston Arzaga said Wednesday that the request of the fishermen is due to the high demand for suno during the closed season.
“Ang suno kasi during November up to March ay talagang in demand, malakas ang kita at mahal ang bentahan kada kilo,” he said.
He said they are looking into the possibility of granting the appeal as it is also a source of income.
“Tinitingnan din natin ang kanilang financial aspect na dapat ma-consider, lalo na magpapasko at New Year. Malaking kawalan ‘yon kung sakali. We are looking into it, dapat lang balance na nandoon pa rin ang conservation ng ating likas na yaman,” Arzaga said.
He said there is a proposal for the PCSD to move the closed season in the month of March until May every year but further studies are needed.
According to PCSD Resolution No. 676-19, the closed season will start on November 1 and will end on March 31 which will help the reef-fish-for-food, including suno to reproduce within four months.
Arzaga added a separate resolution will be passed if the council approves the proposal.
“Mag-pasa sila ulit ng ibang resolusyon para ma-grant itong kahilingan ng ating mangingisda, papag-aralan naman ‘yan.
Arzaga also said that it’s important to listen to the people who depend on fishing for their livelihood and to also consider the environment.
“Basta ang maganda doon ay napakinggang natin ang boses nila at nai-address naman natin ng maayos, marami lang tayong dapat tignan – our people na talagang kailangan ang resources lalo na ngayon na tag-hirap and as well as our environment na kailangan pa rin ingatan,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of fishermen and traders brought up the issue during the Reef Fish for Catchers Forum on Monday at Capitol building which also attended by representatives from different sectors.