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Philippine Tuna Sector Upbeat After Access To High Sea Pocket Philippines, January 2, 13

An extension of the Philippine’s access to fishing areas under High Seas Pocket-1 will ensure the recovery of production in the sector by second semester next year, a Cabinet official said.

“Next year, after the first semester, the fisheries will once again grow because of our extended access to High Seas Pocket-1,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said in a telephone interview last Saturday, adding that he expected the sector to stabilize in the first semester.

Aside from the extension, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is also implementing different programs, such as the closed season for sardines and distribution of fishery inputs, to increase the volume of production in the fisheries sector. These projects, along with the recent approval of the Philippine’s request for the extension of its access to High Seas Pocket-1 would certainly help the sector increase its production, he said.
The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s (WCPFC) approval of the Philippine’s request for extension would mean an additional 50,000 to 60,000 metric tons (MT) in annual tuna production, valued at USD 1,800 to USD 2,000 per MT.
High Seas Pocket-1 is an area of about 560,000 square miles located east of Indonesia and north of Palau. The Philippines was given access until February 2014.