Oriental Mindoro — The 2018 to 2019 seasonal closure in Oriental Mindoro, the second cycle since its launch in November 2017, was a huge success with seventy five (75%) percent of coastal municipalities having reported increased abundance of juveniles during and after the seasonal closure.

“Dagsa po ang similya ng isda habang may Pahingang Pangisdaan. Nakita po naming halos mangitim ang dagat sa sobrang dami ng similya” (Juvenile fishes would swim near the coast during seasonal closure. We witnessed the waters turn dark in color due to extreme abundance juvenile fishes.) said Meljoy Singsing the CRM coordinator of Gloria.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) MIMAROPA also reported a 3% increase in fisheries production, one percent (1%) of the total increase was from municipal waters. BFAR credits the said increase to the success of seasonal closure initiatives in Verde Island Passage and Northern Palawan.

The fisheries management regime covers some 304,200 hectares of municipal waters in the Oriental Mindoro side of Verde Island Passage Marine Conservation Corridor and Tablas Strait. The seasonal closure gives a two-month respite to spawning populations of small pelagic stocks starting 15thof November to 15th of January of the succeeding year.

Originally launched in November 2017, the effort is a partnership between the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro, Malampaya Foundation Inc. and BFAR.