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Tuna Industry in Philippines

With the Philippine seas south of Mindanao already over fished, local tuna producers have looked beyond the country’s fishing grounds for their operations. Marfenio Tan, former president of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industry (SFFAI), continues to reminisce the days when they had to bury tons of tuna catches on the beaches because there were simply abundant supplies and demand could not cope, if not non-existent. During the stretch when the industry became the single top dollar earner commodity for Mindanao, several companies had also emerged, especially in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

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But the industry is going full circle again following the 2008 global collapse of several financial institutions and renewed oil price crisis. Fishing is a PhP50 billion industry in the Philippines, contributing about 4% of the country’s GNP. With an annual production volume of 2. 4 million metric tons of fish, it directly provides livelihood and employment to over one million Filipinos Tuna have high commercial value post-harvest technology equipment needed to prolong the shelf-life of tuna and other species of fish, are made available, thus playing a vital role for trading and other post harvest activities.

The proximity of the city to tuna-rich fishing grounds including the Moro gulf, Sulu Sea, Mindanao Sea and adjacent Celebes Sea which are known centers of tuna abundance, is great advantage. As of September of the previous year alone, the total catch has reached a voluminous 5,031, 866 kilos where ‘sashimi” grade adult tuna comprises 35 % or about 1,774,922 kilos. The locally distributed adult tuna for local consumption ate the largely 65% chunk and distributed to neighboring cities of Davao, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, South Cotabato and as far Japan and the U. S. skipjack for canned markets in Europe and North America. The tuna sector accounts for 12 percent of total fish production and employs about 120,000 workers. Tuna industry contributes: government pursues a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Euopean Union (EU), only the tuna industry is bound to benefit from it. 24% tuna sector shipments in the tariffs in Europe Accourding to sir Soriano, tuna from the Philippines are being shipped within 24 hours to anywhere in the world. * Frozen * Large tax incentives * Fast money return -Industry data showed that exports of fresh and canned tuna reached $284 million in 2011.

The Board of Investments (BOI) has approved tax incentives for a P120-million expansion project of a GenSan-based tuna firm that produces choice portions of tuna for export. The expansion will start commercial operations in February, 2013, and is expected to generate jobs. It will help boost the country’s tuna exports. Currently, tuna catch here is about 1,000 metric tons daily and earns export revenues of about $300 million annually. It is the leading supplier of canned tuna, high value sashimi tuna and tuna steaks to the Japanese, European and American markets.