COTABATO CITY – The five-province, two-city Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm) was the top fish-producing region in the country in 2016, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Thursday said.
The PSA released the 2016 Fisheries Situationer showing Armm produced 824,314.52 metric tons of fishery products in 2016.
Last year’s production was 18.93 percent of the country’s total production of 4,354,472.61 metric tons.
Coming in second was Zamboanga Peninsula with 554,769.71 MT and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) with 482,790.71 MT.
Armm was the top producer of roundscad (galunggong) with 24,264.33 MT, frigate tuna (tulingan) with 24,815.91 MT, Indian mackerel with 10,737.33 MT, eastern little tuna (bonito) with 12,994.80 MT, and seaweeds with 613,174.28 MT.
Many factors contributed to the good performance of the region’s fishery sector, according to Janice Desamito-Musali, director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-Armm).
Tawi-Tawi is the region’s producer of seaweeds and it also produces the biggest seaweeds volume in the country, making 43.66 MT percent of the total production of 1,404,519 MT.
“The coastlines of the islands in the region have wider stretch, which is very suitable for seaweeds farming,” Musali said.
“Good weather conditions, lesser occurrences of ‘ice-ice’ diseases, good quality planting materials and favorable water conditions enhance the growth of seaweeds in our region,” Musali added.
Data from BFAR-Armm also showed that the region has a total of 159,123 fishermen operating in the territorial water area under the region’s administrative jurisdiction.
The fishing grounds in the region include Illana Bay, Moro Gulf, Basilan Strait, Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea.
It was the second time the region topped in fishery production. In 2015, it produced 867,272 MT and 856,957.27 MT. EOF/PNA