The partnership for biodiversity conservation of the Malampaya Foundation (MFI) and the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM) thru its Provincial Agriculture Office’s CRM and Fisheries Division have transcended from working in priority sites to a province-wide initiative.

PGOM and MFI commenced efforts to establish a Fisheries Management Zone that will feature a seasonal closure encompassing over 300,000 hectares of municipal waters in the Province. This is the first of its scale in the country that has been initiated by a Provincial Government in partnership with a local non-government organisation.

Community-based consultations were held 17-21 April 2017 by PGOM and MFI in all coastal municipalities to enjoin small-scale commercial fishing operators in the establishment of the zone. The seasonal closure, which will cover the peak spawning periods between the months of November to January of each year starting 2017, was unanimously approved during the initial round of community-based consultations by nearly a hundred small-scale commercial fishing operators. This will boost the fisheries production and will help generate food and invaluable benefits to the fisherfolks of the Province as well as the neighboring fishing grounds within the Verde Island Passage and Tablas Straight conservation corridors. It will also improve the climate resilience of the Network by incorporating fisheries management in its design.

The seasonal closure will be launched province-wide on November 2017 during the annual foundation anniversary of the Province of Oriental Mindoro.