Posted by: Jimely Flores | January 9, 2014

Tuna in the Philippines

In the Philippines when people talk about the fish tuna, most will think of General Santos City. GenSan was indeed built out of the tuna industry. The truth is, at present, GenSan is only the hub of tuna trading. The tuna fishes traded there are harvested from several near and far places including Indonesian waters on until the high seas. This is because it is where the processors and exporters are mostly based. The other secondary hubs are Metro Cebu and Metro Manila.

Bulk of the Philippine tuna exports are canned or packed tunas (58,071 tons), followed by the chilled and frozen (18,800 tons) and smoked (17 tons) as cited from the external trade report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (www.bfar.da.gov.ph). And it is the number 1 export fish export of the country. It is therefore very economically significant fisheries resource for the Philippines.

The canned tunas are mostly skipjacks, fresh and chilled are mostly yellowfin tunas and some bigeye tunas, and the smoked are either the skipjacks or the other species of tunas like kawakawa and the frigate, bullet tunas.

The fishing gears used are handline for the adult big tunas, ringnet and purse seines for skipjacks, the other small tunas and juveniles of yellowfin tuna and bigeye tunas. All of them are dependent on FADs.

Besetting the fisheries is overcapacity, growth overfishing and possible recruitment overfishing in some areas.

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