GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/21 Oct) — RD Corp., the giant home-grown conglomerate that made a huge chunk of its fortune from fishing, has acquired a state-of-the-art fishing vessel worth P612 million to improve its tuna catch volume.
Rodrigo E. Rivera Sr., president and founder, said the purchase of the modern superseiner fishing vessel was in partnership with Taiwan-based Farewell Fishing Co. Ltd.
“The acquisition of the vessel is historic for us and the local fishing industry in that it is brand new. Local fishing companies usually use reconditioned or second-hand boats bought from other countries,” the fishing tycoon said.
M/V Discovery 101 has a helipad, fish finder equipment and high range satellite device. It was deployed to tuna-rich waters in the Pacific early this month and will use a helicopter to help find tuna stocks.
To be operated by the RD Fishing Industry, Inc., the vessel has a capacity of producing 12,000 metric tons a year.
RD Fishing is known for having the largest fishing fleet in this city, known as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.” The company has 102 catcher, reefer and carrier vessels, 49 ranger or light boats, a tanker, a tugboat and eight other support vessels.
The combined fish-holding capacity of the fleet’s superseiners reportedly ranges from 450 to 1,200 metric tons while the reef vessels have a maximum capacity of 2,400 metric tons.
RD Corp. operates Philbest Canning Corp, one of the six tuna canneries operating in the city. Its business empire extends to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia through onshore investments there in the tuna industry.
Jessie Wang, Farewell Fishing president, said they are bullish about the prospects of M/V Discovery 101, noting that a mix of foreign and local fishermen will join their expertise on board the new vessel.
A Korean boat captain with a record-breaking catch of at least 13,000 metric tons a year from Farewell Fishing would lead the crew, said Wang.
Rivera said the new joint venture is expected to help the local economy as it will generate about 800 new jobs in the fishing and canning sectors. (MindaNews)