Albay Gov. Noel Rosal visited Sula Channel to discuss with officials and stakeholders the sea’s reclamation and the proliferation of fish cages, fish corrals, and pens.
Rosal met with the representatives from the DENR, Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), LGU Bacacay, and other stakeholders.
In the said dialogue, the Governor was informed that there are at least 200 fish cages erected in the area, 19 of which are fish pens/corrals, and two areas are reclaimed.
The Governor said reclamation is illegal and he will ask the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) about the legality of the fish cages.
“For humanitarian reasons, if this is a source of livelihood for the locals, we may allow them to continue. But, it has to be regulated depending upon the carrying capacity of the area. A thorough study on this and a comprehensive masterplan is needed,” he emphasized.
But the Governor stressed that fish pens or fish corrals are illegal because it destroys fish sanctuaries and corrals and they poison the sea as well.
He asked the EMB to submit a comprehensive status report on the matter.
He also announced that he would call for a meeting with BFAR, DENR, EMB, LGU Bacacay, and other concerned stakeholders to address the issue.
“Sula Channel is our natural treasure. We must protect it from further abuse else we will lose it,” he said.