Tuna return means healthier Lingayen Gulf, fishers say | Inquirer News

Tuna return means healthier Lingayen Gulf, fishers say

/ 06:05 AM June 28, 2018

BOUNTY OF THE SEA A fisherman in Infanta town, Pangasinan, unloads tuna caught from a fishing trip to Scarborough Shoal. Local fishermen, however, will not venture deep into the West Philippine Sea as schools of tuna start returning to Lingayen Gulf.—WILLIE LOMIBAO

DAGUPAN CITY — For the first time in years, fishermen sighted yellowfin tuna swimming in the Lingayen Gulf, which had suffered from overfishing.

“I saw a school of yellowfin tuna on Sunday,” said Rudy Altre, head of the Lingayen municipal fishery and aquatic resources council, adding that he believed the gulf had healed itself no matter how slow.


In 2016 and 2017, the population of “dilis” (anchovy) and “bolasi” (mullet) also increased at the gulf that Altre attributed to the reduced cases of illegal fishing using fine-mesh nets and improvised dynamite.


The dilis and bolasi population may have lured the yellowfin tuna to the gulf, said Belmor Bugawan, chief of the law enforcement unit of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Ilocos region.

24-hour patrols

“Yellowfin tuna are migratory in nature, and they go where food (dilis) is available,” he said.

Altre said 24-hour patrols at the gulf by the Bantay Dagat and the BFAR seaborne patrol had discouraged illegal fishing in the area.

“Three to four years back, it looked like New Year’s Eve in the gulf, with more than 20 blasts being heard daily. But because of intensive anti-illegal fishing operations, the illegal activities had been brought to a minimum,” he said. Yolanda Sotelo

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TAGS: anchovy, BFAR, bolasi, dilis, Lingayen Gulf, mullet, overfishing

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