PHL fish catch expected to be better this year

Subscribe Now March 19, 2013 at 11:58am

Fish catch in the country is expected to improve this year after the first two months of 2013 showed a sharp increase in the unloading of fish at the Davao Fishport Complex, according to its manager Mario Malinao.
In a press conference at SM City Davao on Monday, Malinao said the improvement may be due to the four-year tuna-catch cycle that was observed after output declined from 2008 to 2012. He added that as a result, 2013 may signal the start of a bountiful tuna harvest.

“We hope the weather would not repeat [the] disturbances it [made] last year,” he said.

From January to February, the volume of fish unloaded by foreign fishing vessels reached 511 metric tons (MT), a 125-percent increase from the 227 MT unloaded in the same period last year.

Foreign vessels making ports of call at the Davao fishport only unload tuna, while local fishing boats unload all kinds of fishes that were fished from the Davao Gulf and surrounding seas.

Local vessels unloaded 29 MT for the first two months of 2013, compared to 27 MT unloaded in the same period the year before.

Forty-eight foreign vessels and 457 local boats docked at the fishport during the same period this year, from 35 and 384, respectively, in 2012.

The improved unloading of fish by foreign vessels signifies a promising trend for 2013, Malinao said, compared to the fluctuating and mostly downward volume of fish unloaded at the port since 2007.

That year, the average monthly volume was 464.6 MT, plunging to 326.4 MT in 2008 and 244.6 MT in 2009. The figure improved slightly to 292.9 MT in 2010, but fell again to 224 MT in 2011 and 210.7 MT in 2012.

Malinao said the unloading of tuna was supposed to improve last year, but typhoons and low-pressure areas in the Pacific prevented that.

Despite a decline in the unloading of tuna, foreign vessels’ ports of call increased to 4,143 last year from 2,136 in 2011, although the trend was fluctuating in the last five years. Foreign vessels made 2,038 port calls in 2007, 1,284 in 2008, 2,076 in 2009, and 2,859 in 2010.

The ports of call have sustained the operation of the port, Malinao said, allowing them to rely less on the national-budget allocation.


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