High fuel prices spark fishing halt

Yap claimed that most of the fishing companies in this city are now experiencing losses in their operations due to the high cost of fuel

Tribune photo by Joey Sanchez Mendoza

September 13, 2022

ZAMBOANGA CITY — About 50 percent of commercial fishing companies here have stopped fishing tamban — the variety of fish used in the production of canned sardines — due to the high cost of fuel and the implemented ban to fish inside municipal water territories of towns located in the Sulu archipelago.

Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association Inc. president Engr. Jaydrick Johnson Yap revealed that about 10 commercial fishing companies operating in this city have temporarily stopped their operations.

Yap claimed that most of the fishing companies here are now experiencing losses in their operation due to the high cost of fuel and emphasized that “fishing vessels are using about 70 percent of fuel in their respective fishing operations.”

He added that the remaining 11 commercial fishing companies have also decreased their operation to 22 days in a month, to cut the cost of fuel.

Others have already shifted to payaw fishing because they can catch a highly valued variety of fish and they can sell them at a higher price at the market.

Yap lamented that the operations of fishing are now “on and off,” adding that sporadic fishing of tamban has also displaced several canning sardine factory workers because of the non-availably of raw materials for them.

While other commercial fishing companies continued to fish, their catch is sold to sardine factories on an alternate basis and no longer on a daily basis.

Meantime, the association of commercial fishing companies appealed to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and to the town mayors located in the Sulu archipelago to allow them to fish the sardine variety of tamban inside their territorial waters on a limited day only.

Yap appealed to town mayors to “allow us to fish tamban in your municipal water territories when they pass in your area for a limited number of days only.”

“We will just harvest them and we will leave your area as soon as we finish harvesting them,” Yap said.

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