PLAYERS in the country's multi-million dollar tuna industry expressed their apprehension for the lagging implementation of policies in the fisheries sector.

"What we do not want to happen is over-fishing," Marfenio Tan, president of the Socksargen Federation of Fishing Association, said during Monday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao's Chicco de Cafe.

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Tuna fishing has increased in such magnitude in a very short span of time that the international market has also expressed worry.

"The Western Pacific Fishing Council is worried over the rapid increase in catch by the Philippines," Tan said, citing the jump of the country from being tenth to the second spot in global catch of tuna.

Should over-fishing occur, Tan said it will be the fisheries sector that will be most adversely affected.

"The seas will have to be off limits to fishing and it will take a long time for it to recover," Tan said.

In General Santos City alone, there is an estimated 1,500 fishing vessels ranging from the large fishing vessels to the small ones.

One of the proposals of the fisheries sector is the creation of a government agency distinct from the Department of Agriculture and that will focus on the fisheries sector.

"(The) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources should be an independent agency that will focus solely on the fisheries sector and be able to implement the laws on fishing," Tan said.