THE SARDINES INDUSTRY in Zamboanga City remains a big contributor to the local economy and Mayor Beng Climaco has commended the Southern Philippines Deep Sea Fishing Association and the Industrial Group for their contribution during the recent 4th National Sardines Industry Congress held at the Marcian Garden Hotel’s Palacio del Sur.
“Zamboanga, one of the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, is very much thankful to the SOPHIL (Southern Philippines) Deep Sea Fishing Association and the Industrial Group for their contribution to the economic development of the city,” Climaco said, adding, almost 80% of the country’s supply of sardines is canned and processed in Zamboanga.
She also cited the latest technology the sardines industry is now utilizing, saying, “that jibes with our dreams to catapult the industrial sector of Zamboanga by ensuring they start up through technology and innovations to boost the development and progress of the city.”
Climaco said she even took pride of the Zamboanga’s sardines industry during her recent participation in the global conference dubbed “BRIDGE for Cities 4.0” organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria. She praised stakeholders for the strict implementation of the fishing ban, saying, the closed fishing season will allow spawning of sardines and increased future catch and result to increase volume in sardine production.
Sardines are among the most commercially important pelagic species in the country, accounting to 22% of the total commercial fisheries production in 2017. Being cheap, but high with protein, sardine is one of the most accessible fish species for the Filipinos. Aside from its evident economic value, sardines, being located in the basal part of the food web have major ecological importance to big predators like tuna, mammals and cetaceans.
According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, there are 6 major fishing grounds in the country – Ragay Gulf, Ticao Pass-San Bernardino Strait, Bohol Sea, Sulu Archipelagic Waters, Visayan Sea, Moro Gulf-Illana Bay and Sibuguey Bay. And other major fishing grounds for sardines are in the waters of PalawanPassage, Mindoro Strait, Lamon Bay, Burias Pass, Samar Sea, Lagonoy Gulf, Sibuyan Sea, Dinagat and Manila Bay.
The benefits of sardines industry in the country is extended up to the sardine value added products. In Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, data from AC Nielsen Survey shows that there is an increasing trend in the number of workers in sardines cannery and bottled Sardines. An increase of 94% in the number of workers has been observed from 2008 to 2015 for cannery and 17% for bottled sardines. Sardines industry in Zamboanga provides employment opportunities for fishers, traders and processors. (Zamboanga Post)
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