WWF and Century Pacific Promote Sustainably-Caught Tuna in the Davao Gulf


wwf The simplest ways of catching tuna are often the most sustainable. Environmental solutions provider World  Wide  Fund  for  Nature  (WWF)  has  renewed  ties  with  Century  Pacific  Food,  Inc.  (CNPF),  the Philippines’  largest  canned  food  company,  to  promote  artisanal  tuna  handline  fishing  in  the  Davao Gulf.

Considered the country’s 10th  most productive fishing site, the gulf buoys the economies of five coastal cities and 18 coastal municipalities. Though it employs 19,000 municipal plus 1,000 commercial fishers and annually contributes P1.18 billion to the country’s coffers, its fish are in dire straits.

According to a study presented to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in 2008, the Davao Gulf is among the Philippines’ most overfished sites. It recently absorbed the bulk of displaced tuna fishers from General Santos.

Expanding  on  its  three-year  project  to  improve  small-scale  tuna  fisheries  in  Ilocos  Norte,  WWF,  and CNPF will promote sustainable tuna fishing in the Davao Gulf by enhancing local fisheries management and ensuring the economic viability of its handline industry.

Tuna handlines are small, circular reels with a single baited hook – better alternatives to commercial tuna  long-lines,  which  stretch  up  to  80  km  and  are  rigged  with  up  to  3000  hooks, which  often snag sharks, dolphins and sea turtles.

The project shall improve local fisheries governance and meat-handling practices, maximize economic benefits by bridging fishers with preferential foreign markets and establish external support sources.

“Sustainability is business viability. Where will we source our tuna if our own fish stocks crash?” asks Century Pacific Food, Inc. General Manager Greg Banzon. “The business of going green is everybody’s business. Having made good progress with WWF in Ilocos Norte, we believe it’s time to replicate our successes in other areas.”

Today  about  52%  of  Philippine  fisheries  exports  come  from  tuna.  WWF’s  Global  Oceans  Campaign, Sustain Our Seas, builds on decades of work to rekindle the health and productivity of the Earth’s chief seafood source – its oceans.

“WWF  works  to  ensure that  humanity  will  always  have  a  steady  source  of  food,”  concludes WWF- Philippines  President  &  CEO  Joel  Palma.  “Championing  sustainable fishing  with  CNPF  and  our  BFAR allies is a concrete step towards this.”

yellowfinYellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) are some of the country’s most  highly-prized  fish.  Yellowfin  tuna  sport  metallic  blue backs,   golden  flanks,   silver   bellies   and  bright  yellow   fins. Shown is a fisher in the Lagonoy Gulf. (Gregg Yan / WWF)


tunaTuna   are   among   the   world’s   most   important    marine commodities,      feeding            millions            of     people    globally               while providing  affordable  protein  for  millions  of  Filipinos.  Shown are  yellowfin  tuna  being  sold  at  the  General  Santos  fish landing port. (Gregg Yan / WWF)


reelCircular   handline   reel   with   a   lead   sinker   and   a   J-Hook. Compared  with  bag-nets which  cordon off entire  fish  schools or long-lines which stretch up to 80 kilometres, handline reels ensure  that  only  large  pelagic  predators  like  tuna  or  billfish bite. This is a solution to the global problem of  bycatch – the unintended capture of non-targeted species which wastes up to 40% of global yields annually. (Gregg Yan / WWF)

For further information:

Mr. Ricky Biyo
Davao Project Manager, WWF-Philippines

Mr. Gregg Yan
Communications and Media Manager, WWF-Philippines
920-7923/26/31, 0917-833-4734

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