By Maria Teresa B. Benas
BANGUED, Abra, Nov. 5 (PIA) — Members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) of the Save the Abra River Project will push for the promotion of the Save the Ludong Project during its consultation meeting held at the Baluarte Zoological Park in Vigan City.
The TWG discussed the provisions of the draft administrative order of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that would provide a temporary but urgent solution to the problem on the diminishing stock of mullet (scientific name cestraeus plicatilis) and locally called “ludong.”
It prohibits catching ludong during the spawning period in the months of October, November, and December. This period will be declared “close season” for the fishers along the Abra River in order to protect the fish.
Ludong is the most expensive freshwater fish that thrives in the upstream of rivers within the vicinity of the watershed areas.
It is one of the endangered species as it is at high risk because it travels to the estuary (a semi-enclosed coastal body of water, which connects to the open sea) during the spawning period to lay its eggs then goes back upstream.
Along the way, the ludong can be easy targets of unscrupulous fishing methods such as padait, asar, bukatot, and fishnets with very fine weaving. Hence, the urgency of passing the proposed AO and for its immediate implementation to save the ludong from extinction.
Parallel to the prohibition of the catching of ludong is also the prohibition of catching of “ipon,” the the larvae of the ludong. A “closed season” for the catching of ipon was likewise determined and declared the month of February which is the last appearance of the ipon in the estuaries. The closed season will allow the ipon to go upstream to be able to grow in the freshwater which is their habitat and allow them to multiply.
The Save the Abra River Project aims to save the Abra River from various threats from the environment which are mostly man-made in nature such as deforestation, mining activities, and illegal fishing methods. (JDP/MTBB-PIA CAR, Abra)
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