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BFAR: 13,856 MT of imported galunggong arrives

The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) on Thursday said 55% or 13,856.64 of the 25,056.27 metric tons (MT) of galunggong imported since November 2022 has already arrived days before the lifting of the three-month closed fishing season in Palawan.

In a statement, the DA-BFAR said the importation of frozen round scad, bigeye scad, mackerel, bonito, and moonfish for wet markets is consistent with the certificate of necessity to import signed by the DA on November 10, 2022 and is effective until January 31, 2023.

BFAR allowed the importation to augment the galunggong supply amid expected limited availability due to the annual implementation of the closed fishing season in the Northeast of Palawan.

Despite the on-going implementation of the closed season, the price of galunggong remains stable with the local fish valued at P280 per kilo while imported ones range from P220 per kilo to P240 per kilo, the agency said.

The galunggong closed fishing season in the Northeast of Palawan started in 2015 by virtue of joint DA and Department of Interior and Local Government Administrative (DILG) Order 1 to give the species time to reproduce and grow during its spawning season and to ensure sufficient supply in the country.

It was implemented from November 1, 2022 to January 31, 2023.

Since 2015, the periodic closure of commercial fishing activities in Palawan has continuously yielded significant positive outcomes in the production of galunggong, according to the DA-BFAR.

In 2021, the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) recorded an annual catch of 1,146 MT using ring, purse seine, and bagnet–an almost triple increase from the 453.89 MT annual catch logged in 2015, the agency said.

“Throughout the closed fishing season, DA-BFAR’s regional office in Palawan conducted continuous patrol operations in the conservation area,” it said.