FISH production in Northern Mindanao declined by seven percent last year, reaching only 155,813.93 metric tons compared to the 166,770.37 metric tons in 2016.
According to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda)-Northern Mindanao, the decline was noted across all sectors – commercial, municipal fishing, and aquaculture.
The Neda report showed that aquaculture went down by nine percent in 2017 to 74,589 metric tons from 82,003 metric tons in 2016.
Commercial fishing production decreased seven percent to 36,249 metric tons from 39,037 metric tons in the same period while municipal fishing declined by 1.7 percent to 44,975 metric tons from 45,729 metric tons.
Neda-Northern Mindanao said commercial fisheries experienced negative yield in the whole year of 2017 due to weather disturbances. Some fishing boats opted to unload their fish catch in Zamboanga.
Another factor, the agency noted, was that some boats in Misamis Occidental and Camiguin were dry docked for repair and maintenance.
Neda traced the decline in aquaculture, which accounts for 52 percent of the total fish production of the region, to the decrease in production of seaweeds by 18 percent (from 39,964 metric tons to 32,635 metric tons), freshwater fishpond by 3.35 percent (from 845 metric tons to 817 metric tons) and brackishwater fishpond by 1.38 percent (from 38,030 metric tons to 37,504 metric tons).
The marine fishcage sector increased by 15 percent to 3,630 metric tons in 2017 from 3,162 metric tons in 2016.
"The 'ice-ice' disease brought about by epiphytes, changes in water temperature, and salinity resulted in decreased yield of seaweeds," Neda said.