Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez on August 31, 2016 will grace the opening ceremonies of the 18th National Tuna Congress (NTC) at the SM City GenSan Trade Halls, aiming to bring back pride to the city’s most prized catch—the tuna. 

Lopez is expected to discuss with stakeholders the Department’s plans and programs in line with the directives of the current administration that may benefit the Tuna Industry.

The annual National Tuna Congress is a gathering of local, national, and international fishing entrepreneurs and stakeholders to discuss the most crucial issues including the technological development surrounding the tuna industry. 

With the theme “Tuna: Gearing Up for the Future,” the 18th Tuna Festival will include activities such as topic presentations, break-out sessions and workshops, the result of which will be integral to the National Tuna Management Plan.

The 2016 Tuna Exhibit, like the previous years, will follow the Reverse Trade Fair Concept wherein latest technologically-advanced products deemed beneficial not only to the fishing industry but also to the tuna canneries will be featured.

A total of 80 local and international exhibitors will showcase the latest technology, equipment, packaging materials, and other support facilities available to the tuna fishing industry.

A Congress Plenary will also cover the following topics: 1) Amended Philippine Fisheries Code and the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan by BFAR; 2) Challenges and Opportunities of Investing in the Pacific – An Investor’s Point of View RD Tuna Canners, Papua New Guinea; 3) El Niño and La Niña Effects on Tuna by the Department of Marine Ecosystems.

Day 2 will be composed of Breakout Sessions undertow major groupings:

The Capture Fisheries Group, topics to be discussed  are: 1) Tuna Handling: The Lagonoy and Mindoro Experience by the  Gulf of Lagonoy Tuna Fishers Federation and the Occidental Mindoro Tuna Fishers Federation 2) Alternative Fishing Grounds in the Philippines by BFAR National Marine Fisheries Development Center; 3) Philippines in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission by BFAR.

The Canning/Fresh Frozen Group, the following topics will cover: 1) Commodity and Market Updates on Canned Tuna by the Tuna Canners Association of the Philippines; 2) Commodity and Market Updates on Fresh Frozen Tuna by PhilFresh Corporation; 3) Market Accreditations and Certification for Philippine Fresh Frozen Tuna Products by HMA Management Consulting.