Learning the lessons of Fish conservation and resource management.

TUNA is sustaining fishing communities along the Lagonoy Gulf. Photo courtesy of WWF Coral Triange.“The most important thing we learned is quality,” declares Andres Dacullo in Bicolano. The fisherman from Barangay Putsan in the municipality of Tiwi, Albay, is talking about tuna, an important marine resource in these rich fishing grounds, and how he and his fellow fishermen have learned that it’s not about how many fish you catch but how good a fish is.

“Before, we would catch one, two, three, and we still wouldn’t be happy. Now, we have learned that with one good Grade A fish, you can set out early and be home by 10 in the morning, and you can earn more. Making P170 a kilo is certainly better than making P100,” says Dacullo.

“The most important thing we learned is quality,” declares Andres Dacullo in Bicolano, is talking about tuna, an important marine resource in these rich fishing grounds, and how he and his fellow fishermen have learned that it’s not about how many fish you catch but how good a fish is.

“Before, we would catch one, two, three, and we still wouldn’t be happy. Now, we have learned that with one good Grade A fish, you can set out early and be home by 10 in the morning, and you can earn more. Making P170 a kilo is certainly better than making P100,” says Dacullo.

It’s good news when any fisherman is able to earn more by fishing in a more sustainable way. It’s even better news that Dacullo and his comrades are all artisanal, hand-line tuna fishermen who are sticking to traditional ways, with help from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), an enlightened local government, and private funders helping the fishers bring their catch to a higher value market—and inevitably changing their lives.

Tiwi is the showcase site for the Partnership Programme Towards Sustainable Tuna (PPTST), a collaboration established in 2011 among the WWF and private partners under the WWF Coral Triangle Program and focusing on tuna fishery improvement in the Lagonoy Gulf. The project is funded by the German Investment and Development Agency (DEG), with support from Bell Seafood, Coop Switzerland and Sea Fresh.

Currently, only about 20 percent of the tuna from the Lagonoy Gulf is Grade A, explains Ingles; the project’s goal is to kick this figure up to 70 percent. “That difference is significant enough to convince a fisherman to get just one fish instead of two or three. In that way, the fishermen themselves help in the conservation and management of resources.”

Such prudent management of resources has become an urgent matter in the Coral Triangle, the global center of marine biodiversity that encompasses the waters of six countries—Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste—and where the Lagonoy

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: