Northern Mindanao posts decline in fish production

FISH production in Northern Mindanao has dropped by seven percent during the third quarter of this year, reaching only 42,961 metric tons following a decrease in commercial fishing and aquaculture.

According to a report by the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Northern Mindanao, the 2.7 percent decline in commercial fishing (from 8,328 metric tons to 8,106 metric tons) is due to lesser volume of sardines (tamban) unloaded during the quarter and yellow fin tuna was not in season.

Another factor, Neda noted, was that some commercial fishing boat operators are opting to unload their catch in Zamboanga.

Aside from commercial fishing, aquaculture, which accounts for 52 percent of the total fish production of the region, also reduced to 22,403 metric tons, a 12.5 percent decrease from last year's recorded 25,592 metric tons of the same period.

Neda reported that the drop in aquaculture is mainly attributed to the decreases in production posted by seaweeds and brackish water fishpond at 26.25 percent (from 11,182 metric tons to 8,246 metric tons) and 2.47 percent (from 13,297 metric tons to 12,967 metric tons), respectively.

Neda said the decline in brackish water, which mostly contributed to the total production of aquaculture, is due to the decrease in harvested area caused by the discontinued activities of some operators in preparation for the construction of Panguil Bay Bridge.

The agency also added that due to the white spot disease, a disease that can kill and wipe out large populations of shrimps, the prawns had to be prematurely harvested.

However, Neda noted a 1.4 percent increase in municipal fishing to 12,452 metric tons in the third quarter of this year from the 12,286 metric tons of the same period in 2016.

The in-season of anchovy (dilis), bonito tuna, salaysalay, and tilapia was reported as the major cause of the hike in production of marine and inland fishing, according to Neda.

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