Most of ‘payao’ off Rozul Reef missing, says BFAR

Most of ‘payao’ off Rozul Reef missing, says BFAR

MANILA, Philippines — Most of the “payao” or the “floating aggregate devices” used to attract and catch fish that were installed off Rozul Reef already went missing, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said on Thursday.

BFAR spokesperson Nazario Briguera said of the 10 “payao” installed around the reef on April 4, only two were spotted when the agency conducted its support mission there this week.

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However, Briguera said the reason behind this is still unclear.

“There are many reasons why those payaos could not be located there. It’s possible that the current took it away, or it’s also possible that someone deliberately removed our payaos,” Briguera said in Filipino during a public briefing.

Briguera previously said that the BFAR will deploy additional floating assets like payao around the maritime features in the West Philippine Sea this year.

Meanwhile, Briguera also noted that the biodiversity in Rozul Reef remains in “good condition” amid reports of coral deterioration.

Located in the southernmost part of Recto (Reed) Bank, in the West Philippine Sea, Rozul Reef is about 237 km northwest of Palawan province.