DA allows fish importation for wet markets in Oct to Dec
MANILA -The Department of Agriculture (DA) has authorized the importation of frozen fish for wet markets in the fourth quarter of this year.
The DA issued a memorandum circular governing the importation of 35,000 metric tons (MT) of frozen round scad (galunggong), bigeye scad, mackerel, bonito and moonfish from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 this year.
“This order shall take effect immediately and shall remain in force unless revoked in writing,” the agency said in its Aug. 15 memo.
Only importers who will be able to register with the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) within seven working days from the issuance of the order will allowed to import.
The importation is aimed at bridging the gap between local supply and demand as the government implements a three-month closed fishing season in several fish producing areas in the last quarter of the year.
The three-month closed season for fishing, which is being implemented yearly, is in line with efforts to protect and conserve various fish species on tradition grounds.
The areas covered are Northeast Palawan Sea (from Nov 1 to Jan 31), Visayan Sea (from Nov 15 to Feb 15) and the Zamboanga Peninsula spanning the East Sulu Sea, Basilan Strait and Sibuguey Bay (from Dec 1 to March 1).
Of the 35,000 MT maximum importable volume, 80 percent will be allotted to registered importers belonging to the commercial fishing sector while the remaining 20 percent will go to fisheries associations/cooperatives.
The first tranche of import clearances will be issued from Oct. 1 to 30 while the second tranche will be issued from Nov. 6 to 30. All import clearances will be valid for 45 days upon issuance and are deemed expired after Jan. 15, 2024.
“The importer must have a cold storage facility or cold storage warehouse lease agreement before the issuance of SPSIC (sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance),” it said.