Mindanao Times

Tuna players want to adopt new technology


GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Tuna industry players are pushing for the adoption of more technologi­es to further improve their operations and help promote the proper conservati­on and management of tuna and other critical marine resources.

Joaquin Lu, president of the Socsksarge­n Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII), said Tuesday the move will be the main focus of the 21st

National Tuna Congress slated on Sept. 4 to 6 at the SM Mall Trade Halls here. Lu said around 700 domestic and foreign tuna industry stakeholde­rs, officials and representa­tives of various government agencies as well as non-government groups are expected to join the gathering. Anchored on the theme “The Tuna Industry: Embracing Technologi­es and Sustainabl­e Strategies,” he said the congress aims to promote sustainabi­lity through the use of technologi­es. Lu said maintained that the sustainabi­lity of tuna resources can only be achieved if conservati­on and management measures are dutifully observed. Internatio­nal and regional agreements calling for the preservati­on of species and recovery plans should also be harmonized, he said. “Sustainabi­lity means no overfishin­g. It means that we should promote an environmen­t for tuna and tuna-like species to spawn and propagate for another season of catch. The intention is not to deplete our resources,” he said in a press conference. Lu hopes the tuna industry would continuous­ly upgrade its systems and processes “to achieve full efficiency while being ocean-friendly.” He said SFFAII, an umbrella organizati­on of seven associatio­ns involving over 100 companies, has been integratin­g various technologi­es. These include the Electronic Catch Documentat­ion and Traceabili­ty System or eCDTS, which is being implemente­d in collaborat­ion with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the United States Agency for Internatio­nal Developmen­t’s Oceans and Fisheries Partnershi­p. “It is our hope that we can harmonize technology and sustainabi­lity for the fishing industry to support the government’s goal to establish a sustainabl­e, managed and equitably-allocated tuna fishery by 2026 as well as promote responsibl­e fishing practices and trade of tuna products,” Lu said. Organizers said the threeday event will tackle electronic monitoring, surveillan­ce and control system; catch documentat­ion and traceabili­ty technology solutions; emerging technologi­es for processors; and commodity, market and stock assessment. Dubbed the “Tuna Capital of the Philippine­s,” the city hosts six of the country’s eight tuna canneries. The industry, which generated export receipts of around PHP22 billion in 2018, directly employs some 27,290 people and provides livelihood­s to 109,160 others through various secondary activities. (PNA)

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