Bolinao, Anda to ban fish pens in 2019

THE recent fish kill in Bolinao town has compelled its government to accept and adopt the recommendations of the Regional Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee’s Subcommittee on Fishing and Marine Environment Protection (RLECC-SCFMEP) Resolution No. 01 series of 2018, a resolution.

The resolution calls on local government units with mariculture zone in region 1 to address aquatic pollution within their respective jurisdiction by imposing a “no-fish pen” policy.

The adoption of the resolution was decided after the consultation initiated by BFAR-RO1, DENR, LGU Bolinao with fish pens/cages operators and it was agreed that a “no-fish pen” policy will be implemented beginning January 2019.

According to the Municipal Agriculture Office of Bolinao, there are illegal fish pens out of listed 181 fish pens operating in the town.

The decision to initially stop the operation of fish pens was made through the executive order of Mayor Arnold Celeste last June 8, 2018 that declared a moratorium of mariculture operations in Barangays of Luciente II, Luna and Culang in Bolinao after it was hit by a massive fish kill on May 31 this year.

But after the consultation dialogue was made last August 8, it was agreed that the 90 fish pens that have acquired permits early this year will be allowed to operate until December of 2018.

By January 2019, a total no-fish pen policy will be implemented in the mariculture zone of Bolinao, namely Barangays Pilar, Salud, Luna, Culang and Luciente II.

The ban specifically requires: 1) Only fish cages and the use of inverted mosquito nets will be allowed, 2) Operators should secure environmental compliance certificate (ECC) from the DENR, 3) No overstocking, no over-crowding of fishery structure, 4) Concrete pens will be prohibited and 5) No obstruction of the  navigational lane.

BFAR will help share technical knowledge to the affected fish farmers to ensure food security and at the same time to protect the aquaculture industry but at the same time protect the environment.

Similarly, Anda town has earlier adopted the “no-fish pen” policy recommended by the RLECC and the operations of the 200 fish pen operators in Anda will be extended till December this year. (Nora Dominguez)

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