THE ANNUAL three-month closed fishing season in the Visayan Sea has been officially lifted on Feb. 15, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). 

The closed season, implemented from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15, prohibits the catching of sardine, herring (Clupeidae) and mackerel (Scombridae) within the conservation area. 

“The policy is effectively enforced, by virtue of Fisheries Administrative Order No. 167-3, towards ensuring the protection and conservation of the said species in the Visayan Sea,” the BFAR said in a bulletin. 

During the closed season, BFAR said it established field stations and floating assets; conducted land-based and seaborne patrol operations; provided information, education and communication activities; and implemented portside boarding, inspection, monitoring and surveillance operations. 

The Visayan Sea, one of the country’s main fishing grounds, is surrounded by Cebu on the southeast, Negros on the south, Panay on the west, and Masbate on the north. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson