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Hundreds Of Tuna Fishermen Missing After Typhoon Philippines, December 7, 12

While the WCPFC meeting in Manila, Philippines concluded yesterday, other concerning news came from the country’s southern Mindanao Island, where at least 300 tuna fishermen are feared to be missing after Typhoon “Pablo” struck earlier this week.
According to local sources, multiple fishing companies based in General Santos City have lost contact with their fleets, including THIDCOR, RGL and Rugela Fishing.
The Philippine Coast Guard says the Mindanao Development Authority does not know the whereabouts of at least 28 fishing vessels and believes at least 117 fishermen are missing. That number could be higher, as the former president of the South Cotabato Association of Fishing Federation and Allied Industries (SAFFAI), Marfenio Tan, estimates 300 crew members are unaccounted for.
Four fishermen have already been confirmed dead and 19 were rescued, local authorities say. Survivors say waves as high as 30 feet pounded their vessels.
The missing tuna vessels were last operating in waters more than 120 nautical miles from Mati, Davao Oriental, which could make search and rescue attempts more difficult.
Pablo was one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines this year, with forceful winds of 175 km/h and gusts of up to 220 km/h. The country sees about 20 storms annually and they typically spare the southern provinces, usually striking northern and central Philippines instead.
According to the latest reports, the death toll from Tuesday’s natural disaster has surpassed 500, with more than 400 people missing.