These government-owned major fish port complexes provide landing quays and market halls for fish traders and handlers. The capacities of the harbor and market facilities of the eight major fish port complexes considerably vary. These major fish ports basically cater to the commercial fisheries subsector.
The major fish port complexes provide landing quays mainly to local fishing vessels, although the Davao and the General Santos Fish Port Complexes report arrivals of foreign fishing vessels. The catch from the municipal fisheries subsector is typically unloaded in the traditional landing sites or in municipal fish ports. The aquaculture subsector primarily uses the seven major fish ports in the country for the auctioning of aquaculture produce in the domestic market.
The non-motorized municipal fishing boats use either paddle or sail as means of propulsion, and carry one or more crew, depending on the fishing gear used.
During the favourable monsoon weather, the popular fishing gear used by sail-powered craft includes trolling, handlines and gillnets. It is also typical for fishers to sail topayao bamboo rafts, a fish aggregating device , moor their boats to these and fish using handlines. Gillnets, handlines, traps, small ringnets and other small gear are usually operated from these boats.
Fishing gear Medium sized commercial boats are mostly outriggerred boats, which include the basnig or liftnet boats; the large Danish seiners or super hulbot; the medium trawlers and old monohulls fitted with outriggers. The monohulls both wooden and steel are mostly engaged in ringnet or baby purse seine operations.
Those vessels are affected the most by the ban on commercial fishing in the area stretching from shore km out at sea in terms of both numbers of vessels affected and increased cost of operations.
Large commercial fishing boats mainly engage in purse seining, with most catchers targeting tuna or seasonal small pelagic fishes such as mackerels and round scad. The mode of operation is mostly fleet-type, where a carrier boat is dispatched to several catcher boats located on the fishing grounds.
The carrier boat loads fish from the catchers and brings it to a port or processing facility. Large commercial vessels fish in the entire Philippine archipelago.
Gear used in tuna fisheries A variety of fishing gear is used to catch tunas. Purse seines, ringnets and handlines usually accounts for over 75 percent of the annual tuna catch, with nearly half of the commercial tuna catch in taken by purse seine.
The payao has been singled out as the most important factor triggering the phenomenal development of the tuna fishing industry. The effectiveness and efficiency of payao in attracting tuna especially yellowfin and skipjack greatly reduced the time spent in searching and fishing for commercial volumes. The extensive use of payao, however, may be rapidly removing undersized juveniles from the stocks and altering migration and feeding patterns of tunas in Philippine waters Zaragosaet al.
Destructive fishing practices Fishers, getting little or no catch, and believing they have little choice left, use illegal and destructive fishing gear to improve their catch. In the Philippines, illegal and destructive fishing practices include compressor fishing, spear fishing and blast fishing. Main resourcesThe principal stocks exploited in the Philippines are small pelagics, tuna and other large pelagic fishes, demersal fishes and invertebrates.
Species caught in marine fisheries comprise Indian sardines, round scad, skipjack tuna, yellowfin tuna, frigate tuna, fimbriated sardines, big eyed scad, Indian mackerel, anchovies, slipmouth and squid. Small pelagics are considered the main source of inexpensive animal protein for lower-income groups in the Philippines. The large pelagic fishes consist of tunas and tuna-like species, such as billfish, swordfish and marlin.
The tuna fisheries became the largest and most valuable fisheries in the Philippines during the mids, when payao was introduced. The country became the number one producer of tunas in Southeast Asia in the s. When the catch rate of tunas in the Philippines started declining in the late s, Filipino fishing companies started to fish in international waters. This made the Philippines one of the distant-water fishing nations in the Pacific.
Twenty-one species of tuna have been recorded in Philippine waters but only six are caught in commercial quantity and form the basis of the tuna fishing industry. Of the six species, only four form the bulk of catches and are listed in the Philippine fisheries catch statistics, namely yellowfin Thunnusalbacares , skipjack Katsuwonuspelamis , eastern little tuna or kawakawa Euthynnusaffinis and frigate tuna Auxisthazard.
The oceanic large pelagics, such as marlin, swordfish and sailfish, are not fully exploited in the Philippine EEZ. Demersal bottom-dwelling fishes include slipmouths, spadefishes, groupers and catfishes.
In , slipmouth was the only demersal species included in the top ten species caught, in either municipal or commercial fisheries. The state of demersal stocks in the Philippines is clearly shown by the decline in trawlable biomass during the past five decades.
The need to manage exploitation of the demersal fishery resources was recognized as early as the s, and echoed for several decades afterwards. It will take a long time to re-build the stock of demersal species that have been practically eliminated.
A so-called live reef food fish trade LRFFT in the Philippines developed in response to a demand for live food fish, initially from Hong Kong and Taiwan, and later on from mainland China. Live food fish is conventionally caught using hook-and-line fishing gear. However, LRFFT has been closely associated with the problem of cyanide fishing, which was first detected in the aquarium trade. Major species exploited for the trade include the leopard coral grouper Plectropomus leopardus and other species of groupers.
Among the invertebrates, crabs are one of the most important resources taken, and contribute significantly to global food supply.
There are 51 species of swimming crabs reported in the country, but only about 7 are considered marketable. The blue crab Portunuspelagicus is the main species exploited, comprising over 90 percent of crab landings. Crab fisheries in the country have shown a boom and bust history Ingles, a. Other important invertebrates are squid and Acetes shrimp. The marine aquarium or ornamental fish trade in the country involves harvesting selected coral reef fish and invertebrate species that are valued for their aesthetic appeal.
The prospects of better resource management in this subsector are considerably brighter than they are for many other fisheries.
There is now a relatively high level of environmental awareness in the ornamental trade market Ochavilloet al. The deep-sea fisheries resources in the country are in many cases uncharted and unknown, and are believed to be relatively underexploited.
The only deep-water fisheries resource that has a documented history of large-scale exploitation is the dogfish shark family Squalidae. The fishery for dogfish shark is another case of boom and bust. There are some specialized fisheries in the Philippines targeting post larvae or early juveniles of certain fish species that are very marketable since they are considered delicacies including goby fry, post larvae or early juveniles of anchovies of the genus Stolephorus, and early juveniles of rabbitfish Siganidae.
Other species are targeted as seed stock for aquaculture production e. The by-catch of these fry collection activities is usually abandoned on the shore Hermes, The Philippines is located in the most biologically diverse marine area in the world in terms of coral and tropical reef diversity.
At about the same time the status of vulnerable or endangered marine species in the country, such as sea turtles, dugongs, cetaceans, whale sharks, mantas and seahorses was reviewed Alava and Cantos, These assessments show the combined effects of intense exploitation and habitat degradation.
The Code consolidates all laws pertaining to the fisheries sector and repeals or modifies previous statutes that are inconsistent with it. It declares as a state policy that achieving food security is the main consideration in the development, management, and conservation of fisheries and aquatic resources. Its provisions reflect a strong adherence to long-term sustainability, fully recognizing its multiple dimensions and complex elements in the fisheries context through several prohibitive and regulatory measures seeking to balance protection with reasonable and responsible use Ingles, b.
On Section 3, the creation of FARMCs aims to institutionalize the major role of fisherfolk and other resource users in the planning and formulation of policies and programs for the management, conservation, protection and sustainable development of fisheries and aquatic resources.
The establishment of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils FARMCs at the national, provincial and municipal levels has established a legal commitment by the government to involve stakeholders in the development and management of the fisheries industry. The Philippines has been a leader in devolution of authority for coastal resource management through the LGC and has thus become an example for such actions.
However, the challenges of managing fisheries resources in a sustainable manner still remain in most areas. The principal fisheries management measures in the Philippines are discussed below. Limited entry and effort reduction Licensing in the Philippines is still generally viewed as a statistical and revenue generating exercise rather than as a tool to limit entry and control fishing effort.
However, improved frameworks for municipal and commercial fisheries registration and licensing have now been prepared and efforts have already commenced to put them in place. Gear, area and temporal restrictions Some Philippine fisheries are managed in terms of species and size, and, to a certain extent, of sex and maturity stage.
Examples of regulatory instruments influencing selectivity of fishing operations in the Philippines include mesh size regulation, gear ban, restriction on closure of area and temporal restriction. Fisheries administrative orders are being formulated as a basis for fisheries policy.
Table 6 — Philippines - Examples of regulatory instruments influencing selectivity of fishing operations in the Philippines Regulatory Instrument.