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Sardine supply sufficient — DA

September 7, 2022 Joel dela Torre 311 views

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) announced that the country remains sardine (tamban)-sufficient for the year contrary to the claims from a group that there is an alleged looming shortage of this sea produce.

No less than the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) declared that current data or the sufficiency level for sardine or “tamban” is still high at 222./58% for the first quarter of 2022 and 409.06% for the second quarter, just enough to cover with the rising demand for the rest of the year.

The Canned Sardines Association of the Philippines (CSAP) has called on the government to open up the municipal waters to commercial fishing vessels in order to address this looming “tamban” shortage.

However, DA-BFAR maintained that small and medium commercial fishing vessels are only allowed to operate within the 10.1 to 15 kilometers from the shoreline in the municipal waters provided that the local government units (LGUs) enact a municipal ordinance giving them the green light to fish in this scope.

“Sardine supply is not a problem, the country remains sardine-sufficient for the year,” the DA said.

For this year, BFAR has forecasted an annual production of 293,431 metric tons (MT), covering the national demand of 101,367 MT. The volume, which is entirely sourced locally, comes from commercial and municipal fishers, at 208,387 MT and 85,043 MT share respectively.

Data from the National Stock Assessment Program of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute also show that sardine stock has significantly improved resulting in more “tambans” reaching maturity and appropriate catchable size.

This stable supply is attributed to the effective implementation of the National Sardine Management Plan, a five-year plan which harmonizes all the policies and programs on sardines including conservation measures such as the closed fishing seasons. Since its implementation in 2020, a notable improvement in production and supply was recorded.

As the primary government agency mandated to manage the country’s fisheries and aquatic resources, BFAR remains strongly committed to increasing production and ensuring fish sufficiency through sustainable means and without compromising the ecological integrity of our aquatic and marine environment.