Fisheries bureau eyes hike in fish catch-A A +A
Sunday, June 24, 2012
THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is eyeing to increase fish catch this year after the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) allowed the entry of Filipino fishing vessels in the high seas.
The Philippines, along with other 24 countries, is a member of the WCPFC, an international body that regulates the migratory fish stocks in the Pacific.
In a press conference at the Royal Mandaya on Friday, BFAR National Director Asis Perez said the bureau is expecting to regain around 70,000 to 80,000 metric tons of tuna before the yearend.
Perez said the population of tuna in the world decreased for about 30 percent.
"The volume of fishes from the wild decreased due to lack of management and protection control on the coastal area," Perez said.
The official said the total volume of fish catch allowed for the Philippines is about 300,000 to 350,000 metric tons a year.
Perez said Filipino fishermen can start fishing in the high seas pocket 1 in the Pacific Ocean by September this year.
But Luwalhati Antonino, secretary of the Mindanao Development (MinDA), had reminded fishermen to satisfactorily comply with the provisions of the Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) in order to be allowed catching fish beyond 2013.
Perez said the international body allowed the country to fish in the pacific after proving to them that the Philippine is a spawning ground for tuna.
"If we're not allowed, we have to catch the spawners," he said, adding that tuna may not be able to lay eggs and grow its number.
The official also added that this may only result in continued decrease in the amount of tuna not only in the country but to other parts of the world as well.
He said most of the tuna in the Philippine market today came from General Santos City, the country's "Tuna Capital." But, the tuna is actually a migratory fish, meaning they all come from different parts of the world.
"The fishes did not only come from GenSan, they also came from the other parts of the world," Perez said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 25, 2012.