September 3, 2006

Ipon alert
No catching of goby fry from Sept 15-17

Fishermen in the coastal towns of this province had been advised to refrain from catching young goby from September 15, at exactly 6 pm, to September 17, same time, following the full implementation of an ordinance strictly prohibiting the catching and possession of this well-loved delicacy found in both tropical and sub-tropical seas to allow their growth and ensure abundant supply in the future.

The said ordinance was approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) last year and is set to be enforced this year.

Arthur Valente, fishery regulatory officer of the Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO), reported that upon a consultation-dialogue with concerned fishermen, it was agreed that starting on the full moon of September 8, which is expected to be the onset of the ipon season, fishermen would be free to catch and sell the goby fry in the market. However from the eighth to the 10th day after the full moon, which would fall from September 15-17, fishermen would be prohibited from catching the said specie to ensure that there would be more left for the upcoming season.

Contrary to some fishermen’s belief that ipon is “lubuag ti daga”, or produce of the land, experts explained that an adult goby, which thrives in fresh water, hatches their eggs one kilometer from the shoreline, which then would prompt fishermen to find these species near the shoreline.

Valente added that an adult goby could only lay eggs on a certain salinity requirement, this includes a balanced temperature and other environmental factors, making the young goby thrive in seashores. However, upon reaching its fingerling stage, the goby then goes back to its normal environment.

It was in view of this that local legislators passed the goby fry ordinance to ensure continued supply of the said specie all year round.

Valente has also appealed to several fishermen who expressed dismay with the implementation of the ordinance claiming it is only during the goby season that they increase their income by stressing that the government is only doing its function and commitment to protect the environment and thus ensure prosperity and productivity of all.

Goby fry usually fetches from P200 to P300 per kilo in the local market.

Leilanie G. Adriano

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