Central fish port eyed in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/27 Feb) — The city council has asked the City Agriculture Office and the City Planning and Development Office to study the feasibility of operating a central fish port to help the fisherfolk in different parts of the gulf.

Councilor Leonardo Avila III, committee on environment chair, said the proposal is an offshoot of the Comprehensive Fisheries Code of Davao City, which provides for rules governing the creation of port complexes in the city.

“I know that it is something our fishermen in Davao City want: a place where they can sell their catch at fair price, in transparent manner,” Avila said.

“I think if we build something like that and provide facilities to support the trading of fish and seafood, it even has the potential to help the 43,525 fisherfolk in Davao Region,” he said.

Rule XII of the implementing rules and regulations of the Fisheries Code states that the city may have a center that would “facilitate the direct marketing of fish catch of fisherfolk to wholesale and retail buyers at competitive and reasonable prices.”

Centralizing the fish trading activities is aimed to expand access for fisherfolk to lower their transaction costs and improve their bargaining power, Avila said.

The feasibility study aims to determine the viability of creating the center in terms of population increase versus decreasing fish catch, the competition in terms of other fish products, the return of investment because of other distribution centers like public markets and groceries, as well as equipment such as cold storage facilities and dryers.

The City Fisheries Office, through the city fisheries and aquatic resources chair, would be part of the team that would conduct the study.

Avila also called on the private sector to submit data on the local performance of the fishing industry, including the prospect of the sector in the next few years. (MindaNews)