Why GenSan is the tuna capital of the PH

Edwin G. Espejo

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General Santos is home to 6 of the country’s 7 tuna caning plants while Region 9 is host to 11 of the country’s sardine production

TUNA MAGIC. General Santos records the largest total volume of fish landing in 2012. Photo by John Javellana

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – General Santos City has regained its status as the country’s premier fish producer as it narrowly edged the Navotas Fishing Port Complex in total volume of fish landing in 2012.

A total of 139,613 metric tons (MT) of fish were landed at the General Santos City Fishing Port Complex in 2012, edging Navotas, which recorded a total landing of 137,651 (MT) for the same period.

The city seized the edge over Navotas for two years in the running, starting 2009. General Santos City landed 143,316 MT in 2009 and 143,139 MT in 2010. In comparison, Navotas landed 118,453 MT in 2009 and 131,936 MT in 2010.

The city’s 2009 fish landings were the highest in the decade.

More than 92% (132,211MT) of the total 2009 fish landings in General Santos City were yellowfin and tuna-like species. Tuna landings dropped slightly in 2010 at 91.6% (131,127MT).

In 2011, however, Navotas led all fishing port complexes nationwide with a total landed catch of 124,929 metric tons.  

During the same year, the fish landing in General Santos City accounted for only 112,997 MT. Tuna landings likewise dropped in 2011 at a mere 97,013 MT, or 86.7% of the total landed catch at the fish port.

3rd place

Iloilo City was ranked distant third as the country’s largest producer last year with a total of 25,033 MT, followed by Lucena City with 20,352 MT.

The country’s 7 largest fishport complexes had combined landings of 331,898 MT in 2012.

The other fishing port complexes are in the cities of Davao, Zamboanga, and in Sual, Pangasinan.

Total fish landings in these fishing ports however are only 6.8% of the total 4,858,097 metric tons of fish production in the country in 2012.

Aquaculture remains the biggest contributor to the country total fish production output in 2012 at 2,541,965 MT which accounted for 52%. Commercial fishing contributed 21% at 1,035,213 MT, while the rest comes from municipal fishing (1,280,917 or 27%).

Region 12, where the General Santos City fish port is located, is tops in the country in commercial fish production with 209,899 MT, followed closely by Region 9 with 209,494 MT.

General Santos is home to 6 of the country’s 7 tuna caning plants while Region 9 is host to 11 of the country’s sardine production.

As a result, General Santos City has earned the moniker, “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.”

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is still the country’s top producer of aquaculture products at 638,552 MT. The vast Liguasan March and Buluan Lake in Maguindanao are home to fish cages and fish pens that produce tilapias, catfishes and mudfishes. – Rappler.com

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