Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Few tuna, small tuna

Some tuna fishermen in the Philippines are unhappy they can't find enough big tuna.

According to Business World online, one fisherman explained the problem:

"We’re able to catch only one tuna, from three or four pieces we normally caught in the last few years," lamented the 42-year old father of four who has been catching tuna using the handline method in the last 15 years.

"Moreover, the sizes of the tuna have noticeably shrunk now than before," he added, speaking in Cebuano.

He seemed lost for explanations why the fishes have become smaller, but noted the stiff competition that abound near Balut Island, which is rich in tuna stocks, with so many fishing boats staking out there.

"Compared to a fruit, they are picked but not yet ripe," said American John Heitz, export manager of Aqua Gensan Traders talking about the small tuna hauled in by fishermen in the Philippines.

To protect tuna from being caught too small, the Philippines government has banned the sale of small tuna. Nice idea, but the limit is no catching tuna less than 500 grams. Say what? That minimum size limit is more appropriate for freshwater trout.

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