Bolinao starts enforcing ‘no fish pen’ policy

THE municipal government of Bolinao has assured adequate supply of bangus from the town despite its strict implementation of its ‘No fish pen policy’.

Bolinao Mayor Arnold Celeste gave the assurance after the implementation of ‘no fish pen policy’ started on January 1.

Prior to the implementation of the policy, the fish pen operators and the local government agreed that the operators will voluntarily remove their pens and fish nets before the deadline.

After the deadline, the local government will demolish the fish pens that have not been dismantled and the costs will be charged to the operators.

Celeste said there were more than 170 fish pens covered by the policy.

“Only operators of fish cages will be given permits to operate,” Celeste said. “It’s time we allow our municipal waters to recover and prevent fish kills in our waters,” he added.

Celeste said, the operators should comply with the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) before acquiring a business permit to operate a fish cage.

He said, out of the 30 barangays, there are 23 coastal barangays that need to be protected being the lifeline of the aquaculture industry.”

The13 marine protected areas serve as breeding ground for wild species to maintain a sustainable supply of fish.

The ‘no fish pen’ policy was recommended by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office 1 to address the incident of fish kill in Bolinao and Anda in the previous years. The last incident was recorded last May 31, 2018.

The recommendation of BFAR Region 1 was based on the fishery ordinance of the province and in accordance with the Republic Act 8550 as amended by Republic Act 10654.

Celeste said Bolinao is ready to provide assistance to the affected fish pen caretakers by providing bancas for fishing in the sea. (Nora Dominguez)

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