Reef fishing 'open season' starts in Palawan

Lynette dela Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2016 11:09 PM

PALAWAN – Government officials have warned fishermen in Palawan that while they can again catch reef fish to be used as food, they should secure permits first to avoid breaking the law.

To catch reef fish from September 1 to October 15, fishermen will need to secure a Wildlife Collector's Permit from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). 

Administrative Order (AO) No. 5 series of 2014, which was issued by PCSD to ensure the sustainability of the fish population in Palawan, covers three species of reef fish—those locally known as "suno," "loba," and "lapung baboy." 

According to the order, fishermen are only allowed to catch suno fish that are 32 to 47.7 centimeters long.

The closed season for reef fishing in Palawan started on June 16, and ended on August 31. During this period, fishermen were not allowed to catch, transport, and sell live and fresh fish as stated in AO No. 5. 

The PCSD will again implement a closed season from October 16 to December 15.

The PCSD admitted receiving negative comments because of the implementation of closed and open seasons. However, the agency said it may need two or more complete cycles to see improvements in the fish population and ensure the continued livelihood of fishermen.

During the previous closed season, the authorities conducted 18 operations that led to the arrest of 21 individuals and the confiscation of 2,564 reef fish.