GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 12 Sept) – Fish port workers here displayed and weighed around 33,610 kilograms or 33.61 metric tons (MT) of tuna in about 15 minutes on Thursday to notch a potential new Guinness world record for the largest fish display.
Such figure was based on the official records of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), which operates the General Santos Fish Port Complex (GSFPC) and main organizer of this year’s 16th Tuna Festival.
Paris Ayon, food safety chief of the GSFPC and 16th Tuna Festival assistant director, said they were able to achieve their target of breaking the Guinness record for the largest fish display, which featured part of the fish port’s fresh tuna catch for the day.
As early as 5 a.m., workers at the city fish port complex started unloading various tuna species from around 20 fishing boats that landed at the port.
Each fishing boat unloaded an average 60 pieces of tuna that weighed about 20 kilograms and above.
Cecilia Egasan, the event’s organizer, said the freshly-landed tuna were initially displayed at the bidding tables of the fishport’s market 1 and later weighed by the workers with the use of Azuki digital weighing scales.
She said they were able to surpass the world record in less than six minutes but continued the process to complete their 15-minute target.
Organizers initially targeted to put up a display of around 50 MT of tuna or around 2,000 pieces at 25-kg each for the world record attempt.
The event was not witnessed by an adjudicator from Guinness but the entire activity was properly documented through official records, photographs and videos.
Ayon earlier said they will immediately submit the activity’s records and documentation to the Guinness World Records office in London.
He said they tapped personnel of the AMA Computer College here to document the weighing of the tuna catches.
Ayon said they expect the results to come out by next week.
Festival organizers originally applied to come up with the longest grilled tuna that would fall under the Guinness record for the longest barbecue but were instead advised by Guinness to work on establishing the largest fish display.
Guinness has no specific world record for the largest fish display but it acknowledged the largest seafood display established by Schmidt Zeevis and Wichter Steller of Schmidt Zeevis in Rotterdam, Netherlands on June 26, 2011.
The display consisted of 2,271.7 kg or 5,008 lb of seafood that was achieved with the help of executive chef Erik Troost and his team on the Lido deck of the SS Rotterdam, Guinness said.
Egasan said Thursday’s feat was proof that the city remains the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”
“I’m sure no other (port) will be able to surpass this achievement before Guinness will release its evaluation for the activity,” she said.
City Councilor Shandee Llido, chair of the council’s committee on tourism, said the potential world record could bring more economic benefits to the area.
She said it could also help attract more visitors or tourists to the city and the neighboring areas.
Government records showed that the city is currently the country’s top source of fresh and processed tuna exports.
The city is home to six of the country’s seven tuna canneries and other related ventures that generate average annual export receipts of nearly US$ 300 million.