I. Norte eyes handline tuna fish export venture

Ilocos Norte may venture on  more sustainable trade of yellowfin tunas (Thunnus Albacares) as World Wildlife Organization  (WWF) local officers traced a growing tuna fishery activity at Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.

Provincial fishery coordinator Constancia E. Pascua said  Jose Angelito Palma,  WWF Vice President for Conservation Programs, and Joe Pres A. Gaudiano, WWF Program Manager, had learned from Domingo La Torre, a top fish dealer based at Brgy. Davila, Pasuquin that he can transport at most 12 boxes of yellowfin tunas per day, each weighing more or less 60 kilos, it  depends upon the weather condition.

“The WWF is planning to teach him  more about handline-fishing and how to better preserve the tunas for possible export,” Pascua added.

La Torre, who is a native of Marinduque, is a 2001 Gawad Saka National Awardee for teaching his fellow fishermen innovative fishing technologies which they had eventually adapted for their own livelihood.

Having caught WWF’s attention, he is now  the subject of the organization in its project of improving small-scale tuna fisheries in various sites in the country by introducing fishing methods to cater to  the European market which prefers handline-caught tunas.

Gov. Imee R. Marcos, who is in full support of all the small-scale businesses in the province including  the fish sector, ordered the Provincial Fishery to oversee the progress of said activity hoping Ilocos Norte will be one of the future leading tuna exporters in the country.

Handline fishing is a method which uses a single fishing line with one or more lures or baited hooks attached to it. It is usually held by the hands. Being one of the oldest forms of fishing, handlining is still common  to this date.–(Grazielle Mae A. Sales/PGIN-CMO)