DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 March) – The Davao Fish Port Complex saw an increasing trend of the volume of fish unloading and vessel arrivals by both foreign and local vessels in the first two months of the year.
Port manager Mario Malinao said Monday that volume of fish unloaded by foreign vessels reached 511 metric tons, posing a 125-percent increase from 227 metric tons (mt) of the same period last year.
Volume of fish unloaded by local vessels increased by 10.62 percent or 29 mt from January to February this year compared to 27 mt in the same period last year.
A total of 48 foreign vessels and 457 local vessels arrived at the fish port in the first two months this year, while only 35 foreign vessels and 384 local vessels that arrived in the same period last year.
The arrival of foreign and local vessels increased by 37.14 percent and 19.02 percent respectively from January to February this year, he said.
He pointed out that the increasing trend was brought about by the absence of major weather disturbances such as typhoon or low pressure area in those periods.
“I hope this trend will continue until the end of the year,” Malinao said in a phone interview.
He cited that “habagat” or southwest monsoon usually comes in May, when fishing is usually dangerous even for local fishermen.
He said he wanted to emphasize that as long as there is always good weather, fishing will continue as it means business, adding that there is a high demand of fish in the city.
Malinao said despite an increase in the number of port calls both by foreign and local vessels from 2011 to 2012, volume of fish unloading decreased in the last two years.
In his data, from 2011 to 2012, the annual volume of fish unloading by foreign and local vessels decreased from 2,687 mt to 2,529 mt, and from 568 mt to 557 mt, respectively.
The data show that from 2011 to 2012, the annual port calls by foreign vessels increased from 316 to 327, and local vessels from 2,136 to 4,143.
Malinao said the decrease of the volume of fish unloading by foreign vessels was due to the decrease of tuna catching in the Pacific Ocean.
He noted that tuna catching in the Pacific was no longer attractive among foreign vessels as it was 10 years ago.
For local vessels, the decrease of volume of fish unloading was due to weather disturbances and the reduced catch of moonfish, locally known as “bilong-bilong”, he said.
He mentioned that many local fishermen and boat owners were “traumatized” by the impacts of typhoon Pablo that made landfall last December 4, adding that most of them would not sail with bad weather. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro / MindaNews)