By Marie Tonette Marticio
Manila Bulletin

TACLOBAN CITY – Villagers swarmed a beach in Sitio Batang, Pili, Almeria, Biliran recently to gather juvenile sardines that had washed ashore.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Re­sources Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said the mass stranding of juvenile sardines, locally called “law-law,” is an indication that they have grown abundant, particularly in Biliran, following the four-month ban on fishing in the Visayan Sea that ended last Feb. 15.

“This is good news because it shows that we have a successful fisheries management measures,” Albaladejo said.

The phenomenon “is coupled with the mild El Niño experienced in the region that favored good growth of zooplankton and phytoplankton in water,” he said.

The plankton blooms concentrate along the shoreline, attracting schools of fish and may have caused the mass stranding.

Albaladejo said the collected fish are safe to eat.

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