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Festivities Slows Down Tuna Unloading At Gensan Port

Tuna unloading at the fish port complex here has slowed down since the start of the year, owing to the fishermen's devotion to the feast of the Sto. Nino, the fish port management said.

Miguel B. Lamberte, local manager of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority which manages the modern 32-hectare fish port complex at Barangay Tambler, said they expect tuna unloading volume to return to normal starting February.

“Traditionally, this month has slow tuna unloading as small- and big-time tuna producers observe the feast of Sto. Niño [Holy Child]. This is just normal and is not affecting the industry in general,” he noted.

Lamberte, however, declined to say how much was the decrease.

Lamberte said they hope to attain a tuna unloading volume of 280 metric tons daily once fishermen resume their normal routine. The 280 MT level was the target volume placed by the fish port management way back in 2007.

Barangay Bula, where big and small-time tuna producers have been residing, annually celebrates the feast of Sto Nino, to whom the Catholic parish is named after.

On Thursday, despite the heavy rainfall, hundreds of devotees gathered at a public beach in the village to welcome the Sto. Niño image from a fluvial procession. At least 30 fishing vessels took part in the grand fluvial parade across Sarangani Bay.

Every January, tuna fishermen take a break from fishing expeditions to take part in the religious feast, thus the slower unloading at the fish port, Lamberte said.