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Deadline Set for Removal of Fish Cages in Pansipit River

PHILIPPINES Local fish cage operators in Pansipit River have been given until 31 July to harvest their existing fish stocks and remove their illegally-built structures in the river.

According to GMANews.TV the Batangas provincial Task Force on Environmental Law Enforcement will be forced to dismantle the cages, which are not removed by the end of the month.

Task Force vice chairman and protected areas superintendent Laudemir Salac said his group told GMANews that cages built in the Pansipit River - a protected area - have been choking the key passageway of endemic maliputo fish from Balayan Bay to their breeding ground in the Taal Lake.

"It is really prohibited to place structures in Pansipit and therefore they (fish cages) are illegal... (So) by July 31, they (operators) should dismantle the cages themselves or we will be forced to remove them," Salac he told the news station.

The 9-kilometer Pansipit River, which traverses the towns of Agoncillo, Lemery, San Nicolas and Taal in Batangas, was declared a protected area in 1996 through the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act.

The Philippine Fisheries Code prohibits the placement of fish cages, fish pens and other aquaculture facilities in the country's water bodies "without a license or permit."

View the GMANews story by clicking here.