BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The early off-season of the Visayan Sea will lead to “more abundance” next year for commercial fishers while the closure that started this week will benefit small fishermen.
Salvador Escalante, mayor of Cadiz City in the Philippines, said commercial fishing boat operators are expected to get a higher monthly catch of seven tons from the usual five as soon as fishing in the Visayan Sea is resumed next year.
The Visayan Sea, which covers an estimated 10,000 square kilometers, is a primary fishing ground for more three regions – Bicol, and Western and Eastern Visayas.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources reports 31 coastal towns in five provinces: Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu and Masbate depend on the Visayan Sea for their fish catch.
Cadiz City is one of the major fresh and dried fish producer in the province with a significant number of commercial fishing companies based there, around 55 kilometers north of here.
Escalante added subsistence fisherfolk who use traditional methods of fishing are not covered by the ban and stand to gain from it as people will buy directly from them. * with research by Kyle D. Jocson