TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN – Law enforcers of the fisheries bureau in Region 02 are now fully deployed for the implementation of Bureau Administrative Circular 247 declaring closed-season on Ludong this entire month of October up to November 15 of this year.
According to Fisheries Management, Regulatory and Enforcement Division Chief, Atty. Arsenio Bañares, the law enforcers are on the look-out in identified Ludong hotspots in the entire region.
Currently, Atty. Bañares said that fisheries law enforcement teams are conducting IEC field campaigns while awaiting for the ‘Ludong run’ which coincides with the swelling of the Cagayan River, usually brought about by heavy rainfall.
“We forewarn our fishers not to venture during this time as our Fishery Law Enforcers are on the look-out and ready to implement actual apprehension, both riverborne and landbased,” Atty. Bañares said.
BAC 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.
“We urge our fisherfolk and buyers or consumers alike, to abide with the law. In such a way, we can give time to our most precious fishery resource to regenerate and increase its population, not only for the present but for the years to come,” BFAR RO2 Regional Director Dr. Milagros C. Morales said.
Apart from the closed season, the BFAR Regional Offices 02, 01, and the Cordillera Administrative Region, along with collaborating agencies and institutions such as the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Isabela State University, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Local Government Units and the Zoological Society of London, are currently implementing the Oplan Sagip Ludong project.
The OSL project aims to implement sustainable management measures and breed ludong in captivity, with the end in view to revive population of Ludong in the wild and ensure its availability in the years to come. (max prudencio, BFAR RO2)