With ‘buli-buli’ out, fish catch increases in Lingayen Gulf
By Yolanda Sotelo
LINGAYEN – After the destructive fishing gears called Danish seine were stopped from operating, the fish started to proliferate in the Lingayen Gulf, commercial fishing vessel (CFV) using trawls, claimed.
During a meeting between the officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources with trawl operators on Monday, the operators said their catch, specifically espada ( beltfish or largehead hairtail), has gone up.
Antonio Torrecampo, a trawl operator from Sto. Tomas, La Union, said the espada has become “very plenty that they are already near the wharfs.”
Another trawl operator, Arnulfo Eslao, confirmed the increase in the catch of espada and other kinds of fish in the gulf when Danish seine (locally known as hulbot-hulbot and buli buli), were banned from operating.
Belmor Bugaoan, in charge of BFAR Region I’ law enforcement unit, said it was not only espada that proliferated after the ban on buli-buli, but also other species. It is espada however, that is mostly caught in the gulf, he said.
The BFAR stopped issuing fishing clearance to commercial fishing vessels using Danish seine, in February 2014, although the their had been prohibited under BFAR Fishery Ordinance 246 issued on September 2013.
Records of the BFAR in Region I showed that in 2014, there were 40 CFVs using Danish seine with unexpired license to operate, but were reduced to 28 in 2015.
Even with unexpired license however, the CFVs are not allowed to go out to the sea without fishing clearance, Mary Ann Solomon, head of BFAR Region I’s regulatory and licensing section, said.
Last year, the BFAR filed a case against a barangay captain in Dagupan City who owned a a CFV which was caught using Danish seine. The barangay official has hence stopped operating the vessels with the banned gears. Others have shifted to allowed fishing gears like trawls and pangulong.
CFV operators are asking the BFAR to allow them to fish from 10.1-15 kilometers from the shore which is still part of the municipal water. Under the law, they are allowed only to operate from the 15th kilometer from the shore.
During the dialogue, they said most of their CFVs were not fit to operate far out into the sea where it becomes dangerous when there are big waves.
BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden said the fisherfolk could ask their respective municipal officials to pass ordinances that would permit them to operate in the area
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