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PIA Press Release

NVizcaya fishery sector bans catching of eels

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya (September 6) -- Local fishery officials here have called on fishermen in the province to refrain from indiscriminate catching of eels to prevent its depletion.

Absalom Rizal Baysa, aquaculturist and in-charge of the fisheries sector of the provincial agriculture office here has asked the public to stop catching eels in rivers inorder to help the provincial government's "Balik Igat" program to succeed.

According to Baysa, fishermen, using illegal gadgets harvest small eels in rivers and creeks and sell these to the market.

"This is detrimental to our program because eels are supposed to be harvested after 12 years when they have grown well and reproduced," Baysa said.

According to Baysa, thousands of eels were distributed in 2004 to various fish sanctuaries and other bodies of water in the province to help revive Nueva Vizcaya's abundance of eel supply which intends to provide livelihood and additional food among Novo Vizcayanos.

He said a full grown eel can weigh as much as 15 kilos which can feed a number of families.

The "Balik Igat" program of the provincial government came into being after aquaculturists observed that the eel supply in the province have gone down due to the construction of the Magat dam in Ramon Isabela.

The eels which are migratory, Baysa said came from the sea and seek full growth in rivers before returning back to the sea to lay their eggs.

"The problem however is that they can no longer go back to our rivers because of big irrigation projects," he said.

Baysa said anyone caught harvesting eels with illegal gadgets and means, including sellers shall be filed with penalties and corresponding cases in court.

He said there is a need for every Novo Vizcayanos to cooperate to truly benefit from the "Balik Igat" program in the future. (PIA NVizcaya) [top]

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