THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Monday denied a shortage in the supply of tamban or sardines amid reports of unavailability in the wet market of the fish.

In a radio interview, BFAR spokesman Nasario Briguera said that the absence of fish in certain markets could be a temporary effect of the rains brought about by Typhoon "Henry."

"First, I am categorically denying that we have a shortage in the supply of tamban. In fact, based on our data, we have a sufficiency level of more than 200 percent and 100 percent sufficiency for the first and second quarters of 2022, respectively," Briguera added.

Tamban is not included in the daily price monitoring of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Briguera said the issue of shortage is allegedly being floated by a certain group to justify the need to allow commercial fishing in municipal waters.

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Briguera added that commercial fishing vessels can enter the municipal waters if the local government units (LGUs) issue an ordinance.

"There is a provision in the existing law that they can operate within 10 to 15 kilometers of the municipal waters if the LGU allows it," he added.

At the same time, Briguera said that BFAR implements a yearly closed season to allow fish species to reproduce.

"The closed season for tamban is being implemented yearly. Based on the study, the stocks of tamban have improved since the implementation of the conservation measures," Briguera noted.

On the other hand, Briguera said there is no plan to import round scad or galunggong.

"At present, there is no plan to import galunggong. The imported galunggong now being sold in the local market were still part of the previous importation," Briguera added.

Based on the daily market monitoring of the DA, the retail price of local round scad ranges from P200 to P280 per kilo, while imported round scad is pegged at P200 to P220 per kilo.