By Max Prudencio, BFAR-2
One Luzon E-NewsMagazine
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has re-issued the ban on the exportation of elvers (young eel) in a bid to stop the rapid exploitation of said species.
The decision to reinstate the ban emanated from a recommendation made by the BFAR regional office here, after it has observed the excessive, widespread and unceasing exploitation of elvers.
The gathering frenzy, which encompassed almost all coastal towns of Cagayan, is a result of the sharp rise in the buying price of live elvers. From 2,500 pesos last year, buying price suddenly went up to 17 thousand to 28 thousand pesos from January to March this year.
Elvers or eel fry, locally known as ‘dalara’, are gathered in river banks in estuarine areas and sea shore thru the use of set nets (tanggar) and push nets (dus dus). The fry are shipped to Manila for export to other Asian countries. Eel is a delicacy in Japanese cuisine and is also preferred by the Chinese and Koreans who believe that its blood is a source of strength for men.
“If we don’t impose the ban then there is a high chance that eel will be like Ludong,” Dr. Jovita Ayson, referring to another high priced but dwindling indigenous species that the BFAR is trying hard to revive to date. The BFAR RO2 Regional Director added that her agency will work with the local government units on the preparation of local legislations needed to manage and protect not only eel but other indigenous species.
The ban on the exportation of elvers is embodied under Fisheries Administrative Order No. 242. The FAO carries a penalty of eight years imprisonment, confiscation of catch or a fine equivalent to double the export value of the same and revocation of fishing and/or export permit. FAO 242 was approved by DA Sec. Proceso Alcala last April 10, 2012 and shall take effect fifteen days after its publication on April 17, 2012 in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and upon acknowledgement by the Office of the National Administrative Registry.
FAO 242 repeals FAO 159 s. of 1886 which allowed the elver exportation. The former upholds FAO 107 and 107-1 series of 1986 which earlier banned the exportation of said fishery commodity.#