In 2001, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources reported a total of 148 fishpond operators. 130 of them were in Tanjay City and owning or managing some 936 hectares of fishpond area. The combined fishpond area of Bais and Tanjay cities then accounted for nearly 68 per cent of existing fishpond areas in Negros Oriental. However, Bais City had the largest fishpond area (1,026 hectares), managed by 94 operators, in 2000.
As of 2000, there were a total of 102 operators with 25-year Fishpond Lease Agreements (FLA) covering 784.7 hectares of fishponds, equivalent to about 27 per cent of the then existing fishpond area. In addition, there were 144 operators with privately owned fishponds as well as 42 operators with proposed new fishpond areas. Most of the above-mentioned areas were devoted to the culture of milkfish and to a lesser extent, prawns.
An estimated 14,885 municipal fishermen operate in the province (out of 88,602 in the region, or about 17 percent). Majority of them-10,200-use ordinary paddle-powered outriggers ( banca ). The more enterprising ones, 3,500 of them, use the motorized banca. Both groups manage to catch an average of 12-13 kilograms of fish daily per fisherman. Their harvest from the sea usually include mackerel, grouper, tuna, caesio, roundscad, herrings, and anchovies.
They employ a wide range of methods: bangus fry gathering/catching, barriers and traps, line fishing, impounding nets, entangling nets, multiple handline (birik-birik), gill net (pukot), beach seine (sahid), fish corral (bungsud), and the use of hand instruments. They benefit from the presence of at least 32 marine protected areas or sanctuaries scattered along some 268 kilometers of the provincial coastline.
As of 2001, the government registered a total of 72 commercial fishing boats operating in the province. In the previous year, 29 of these licensed commercial fishing boats were using ring net gear, while only 10 such boats were using hook and line gear. But the applications for commercial fishing boat applications using ring net increased to 51 by August 2001.