Council to tackle ordinance creating brgy. fish sanctuary

AN ORDINANCE establishing the Barangay Hizon Marine Fish sanctuary, which prohibits large-scale fishing for up to 50 meters around its coastal waters is pending at the city council.

According to a copy of the draft committee report by the committee on rules, the city council returned to the barangay the proposed ordinance in 2014 pending a report of assessment from the officials, as well as recommendations from the City Agriculturist’s Office fisheries division.

Rules chair Bernard Al-ag said the item was referred back to the committee pending the final version of the barangay ordinance.

During the deliberation at the plenary, the city council members insisted that the Local Government Code mandated the city government instead of the barangay to implement the management of marine sanctuaries.

“We suggested to change the manner of issuing permits to enter the marine sanctuary,” Al-ag said, referring to giving the City Agriculturist’s Office permitting authority instead.

Mary C. Moratin, OIC of the CAO’s Fishery Resources Management Section, told the committee that Barangay Hizon is part of the identified marine protected areas as stated in the Comprehensive Fisheries Code of Davao City.

The Barangay Hizon Marine Fish Sanctuary has a total area of 27,000 square meters around the barangay’s coastal area.

The barangay council vowed to manage the fish sanctuary, with the council’s fish sanctuary and fishery reserve management committee and the Barangay Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (BFARMC) taking the lead.

Earlier this year, Barangay Councilor Euficacio O. Uy, said that plenty of corals have died in the coastal waters of Barangay Hizon.

The proposed ordinance was drafted so as to declare certain areas in their barangay as prohibited areas for fishing. The barangay ordinance was first pushed in 2013.

Ordinance No. 06, series of 2013, of the Barangay Council of Vicente Hizon, Sr., Buhangin District, establishes the marine sanctuary.

The barangay ordinance also outlines six corners designated as fish sanctuary buffer zones.

Prohibited acts include fishing, as well as gathering fisheries resources inside the sanctuary.

Boats are also prohibited from passing through or anchoring inside the identified sanctuary, except during emergencies.

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