Dagupan finally passes ordinance banning establishment of fish pens

DAGUPAN CITY, Oct. 26 (PNA) –The city council finally passed an ordinance prohibiting the establishment of fish pens in any river or waterway in Dagupan, putting the future of all the already established fish pens in the city in cloud of doubt.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Jeslito Seen amended certain sections of the Dagupan City Coastal Fisheries Resource Management Ordinance of Year 2003 which allowed the establishments of fish pens at certain areas of the city whose owners thereof were to be charged aquatic lease agreement fees by the city of specified amounts and conditions.

Section 1 of Draft Ordinance No. 551 approved by the council without no objection states: “Prohibition of fish pens. Construction of fish pens in areas of public domain is prohibited. Thus, Sections 36,37 and 38 of the Dagupan Fisheries Resource Management Ordinance as regards designated areas, design and layout and issuance of permit to operate fish pens are hereby amended.”

However, in their (fish pens) stead, fish traps like “poquet”, “batikwas”, “Skylab”, “Surewin”, “Skyblue” or other fish capture structures, including fish cages, of not more than 300 sq. meters in designated areas is allowed.

Also allowed by the amended ordinance are oyster beds and the traditional oyster stakes whose owners, including those of fish traps and fish cages,must pay fees, rental and charges to the city government.

The city government shall put all collections derived from the utilization and exploitation of the city waters in the general fund to be allocated for coastal resources management activities such as, but not limited to law enforcement and livelihood program for marginal fisherfolk, research, training and education

Councilor Seen, the author of the measure, is optimistic that with the new ordinance, the problem of illegal fish pens in Dagupan City will finally be put to rest.

A report said there are still 100 fish pens in Barangay Pugaro alone whose owners were notified by the city government to remove their structures at their own expense by December this year. (PNA)