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Congress Addresses Tuna Resource Sustainability

by 5m Editor
11 September 2009, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - The recently concluded 11th Tuna Congress enabled the shift of paradigms used by government in addressing the issue of tuna resource sustainability," says Marfenio Y. Tan, chairman of the Congress and president of the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing & Allied Industries Inc. (SFFAII).

About 400 participants from around the country and abroad joined the successful 11th National Tuna Congress held recently at General Santos City.

With this year's theme, 'Changing Mindsets Toward Sustainable Fisheries', a two-day plenary session covering topics on current management regimes and market trends on investment opportunities along with the initiatives on tuna resource management, the industry's socio-economic impact and accountability, fisheries and economic cooperation with various other industry players in the Pacific and in the BIMP-EAGA, updates on maritime boundary issues, safety and protection of property and life at sea, as well as the effects of the global financial crisis to the Philippine Tuna Industry were discussed.

In a message by Agriculture Secretary, Arthur C. Yap, delivered by Assistant Secretary, Clayton Olalia, Secretary Yap said "DA-BFAR has already set its policies in place, for instance, the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA).

Accordingly, author Edgardo Angara promised to work for the allocation of funds to support the Vessel Modernization provision of the Philippine Fisheries Code.

The bureau also started looking into the possibility of modernising the tuna fishing fleet through the Agriculture Competitiveness Enhancement Fund, as it is currently complying with the two-month ban on the use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS) from August to September to prevent the harvesting and recruitment of juveniles.

The government's active involvement in the Coral Triangle Initiative has resulted in securing of funds amounting to more US$5.81 million to be used with the different projects of the fisheries sector.

Secretary Yap also acknowledges the need for the private sectors to engage in long term conservation and management of the country's tuna stocks.

SFFAII is based in General Santos City and its members include purse seine and handline fishing groups, tuna canners, processors and traders and aquaculture producers.

Entering its eleventh year now, SFFAII has been actively promoting for a more competitive and sustainable tuna sector, and perseveringly pushed for the Philippine Tuna Industry to become a considerable influence in international fisheries.

The event also highlighted by the presentation of congress resolutions expressing the industry's commitment and concerns towards a more sustainable and competitive tuna industry.

The event also featured various technologies, services, as well as fishery products and supplies needed by the fishing and its allied industries in its trade exhibit of more than 60 merchants and dealers.

5m Editor