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BFAR 2 set to implement ban on catching of Ludong

TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN – The fisheries bureau in Region 02 is set to enforce BFAR Administrative Circular No. 247, a fishery regulation establishing a closed season on the catching of Ludong effective October to November 15 of each year.

A closed season is ‘a period during which the taking of specified fishery species is prohibited in a specified area in Philippine waters’.

Area covered include the entire stretch of the Cagayan River, including its tributaries, headwaters and watersheds. Area covered by the regulation also encompass Abra River and its tributaries traversing Ilocos Sur (Santa River) and the Cordillera Region.

BAC No. 247 states that ‘it shall be unlawful for any person, association or corporation to catch or cause to be caught, using any type of gear or fishing method, purchase, sell or expose for sale, transport, export or have in possession, fish known as Ludong, its by-products or derivatives, during the closed season as defined’.

The regulation provides for a penalty of imprisonment of 6 months to 1 year and/or fine of six thousand pesos and forfeiture of catch and fishing gadgets. However, a stiffer penalty of 6 months and 1 day to 8 years imprisonment and / or fine of eighty thousand pesos, shall be imposed, if offense involves catching of spawning Ludong during the closed season. Export of spawning Ludong also carries a penalty of 8 years imprisonment, confiscation of the same and fine equivalent to double the value of the same.

During the meeting held earlier last Sept. 5, 2014, BFAR RO2 Regional Director Dr. Jovita P. Ayson disclosed that the Bureau will deploy its fishery law enforcement officers, to be beefed up by personnel from the Central Office to implement the regulation, during the said period. Ayson also said that the Bureau will also seek the assistance of the LGU and other law enforcement agencies on the matter.

An intensified IEC (information, education and communication) campaign at all levels and utilizing all sorts of media, will also be held effective this month up to the end of the regulation period.

Ayson also said that BFAR Director Asis G. Perez will spearhead a launching activity for the implementation of BAC No. 247 on October 1. All mayors, chief of police and other concerned officials, and fisherfolk from all affected municipalities, provincial officials, Central Office officials and personnel and agency heads will be invited in the activity.

The promulgation of BAC No. 247 is one of the highlights of the Oplan Sagip Ludong, an inter-agency project spearheaded by BFAR RO2. The OSL launched by DA Sec. Proceso J. Alcala in 2010 aims to bring back the abundance of Ludong (Cestraeus sp.), a highly priced fish and a cultural icon of Cagayanos. (max prudencio BFAR RO2)

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