Cebu fishers raise alarm over commercial fishers
WHEN Cris Aspaciño started fishing at 17 years old in Barangay Poblacion, Sta. Fe town in Bantayan Island, he and his father could easily get 30 kilos of fish daily from the Visayas seas.
Now at 36 years old, Aspaciño said fishing remains his chief livelihood but the daily catch has dwindled to five to 10 kilos every day.
“There’s a lower catch of fish today because of commercial fishers,” he told Cebu Daily News.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Visayas (BFAR-7) together with Coast Guard, military and coastal law enforcement personnel conducted a three-day Tañon Strait and Visayas Seaborne patrol joined by local media.
Aspaciño, who borrows motorbancas and fish nets from fellow fishers, said he can only watch in resignation as the commercial vessels pass by him.
Aspaciño’s two children are both in school while his wife takes care of their home.
(WATCH: This video was taken along Tañon Strait. By Michelle Joy L. Padayhag)
Before, each kilo of fish can sell at P80. But now Aspaciño sells at P90 to P100 per kilo.
Aspaciño would wake up at 3 a.m. to fish and after six hours, he returns to shore and sells his catch to vendors in Bantayan Island.
Fish vendor Ruth Jiducos of Barangay Talisay, Sta. Fe town confirms Aspaciño’s claim, saying that she can buy more than 10 kilos of fish before, but not now.
“Before, it’s P100 per kilo, but today it’s P130 per kilo. It depends on the fish,” she said.
BFAR-7 Director Andres Bojos said commercial fishing in the Tañon Strait went down by 50 percent.
But he was unable to provide data to support his claim.
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