Calapan, Oriental Mindoro — The Province of Oriental Mindoro thru its Fisheries and Coastal Resource Management Division, small-scale commercial fishing operators, the coastal municipal local government units (LGUs), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), in partnership with Malampaya Foundation Inc. (MFI) achieved a milestone projected to generate at least P100 million of direct income benefit from fishing for the thousands of fisherfolks in the province through the launch of a 300,000-hectare fisheries management area on November 10, 2017.
Formally launched by Governor Alfonso Umali and Vice-Governor Humerlito Dolor, it took just over a year for the partners to achieve this milestone. Hurdling through multiple layers of community and provincial level consultations, policy workshops, enforcement planning, and forging of national level coordination and partnerships with agencies like BFAR NFRDI and BFAR USAID NOAA VIIRS.
The establishment of the fisheries management area for small pelagics feature a two-month seasonal closure w/in the municipal waters from Puerto Galera to Bulalacao, dubbed by small-scale commercial fishing operators as "Pahingang Pangisdaan” which takes effect November 15, 2017 to January 15, 2018.
A parade of banners by LGUs, PGOM PAGO, and enforcement agencies like the PNP Maritime and the Philippine Coastguard ensued on the 15th day of the same month, marked the start of Pahingang Pangisdaan (seasonal closure) and will be continuously implemented during the same months in the succeeding years.
The seasonal closure is a marine resources management approach that is fit for Verde Island Passage marine conservation corridor, contributing to and completing the resilient design of the Oriental Mindoro MPA Network.
In 2018, MFI's partnership w/ PGOM PAGO aims to improve the implementation of the seasonal closure, which will encompass the adjacent national waters adding another expanse of not less than 200,000 hectares of fisheries management area.