Philippines predicts hike in tuna catch
Fisheries officials are projecting an increase of around 50,000 metric tons (MT) in the country’s annual tuna landings once fishing companies here complete the deployment of their 36-vessel quota into the reopened high seas of the tuna-rich western Pacific Ocean.
Lawyer Asis Perez, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) national director, said tuna fishing companies based in this city have already deployed 14 catcher vessels into the Pocket 1 of the western Pacific Ocean’s high seas since it was reopened to Philippines-based fishing vessels in September last year.
“We have 14 vessels operating in the area right now. That (number) would have been 20 already if not for typhoon Pablo,” he said in an interview.
He said six of the tuna catcher vessels that resumed operations in the area last year had went missing and were presumed to have sunk following the onslaught of typhoon “Pablo” off Mindanao’s eastern seaboard last 4 December.