DTI chief opens 18th National Tuna Congress
Business Mirror
September 7, 2016

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez was guest of honor during the opening of the 18th National Tuna Congress (NTC) at the SM City GenSan Trade Halls on August 31. The Congress aimed to bring back pride to the city’s most prized catch—the tuna.

Lopez discussed with stakeholders the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) plans and programs in line with the directives of the current administration that may benefit the tuna industry.

The annual NTC 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 included activities, such as topic presentations, breakout sessions and workshops, the result of which was integral to the National Tuna Management Plan.

The 2016 Tuna Exhibit, like the previous years, followed the Reverse Trade Fair Concept, where the latest technologically advanced products deemed beneficial not only to the fishing industry, but also to the tuna canneries were featured.

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

A Congress Plenary covered the following topics: Amended Philippine Fisheries Code and the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; Challenges and Opportunities of Investing in the Pacific-An Investor’s Point of View by RD Tuna Canners, Papua Guinea; and El Niño and La Niña Effects on Tuna by the Department of Marine Ecosystems.□

The second day of the Congress had two major breakout sessions.

One was the Capture Fisheries Group which discussed: Tuna Handling: The Lagonoy and Mindoro Experience by the  Gulf of Lagonoy Tuna Fishers Federation and the Occidental Mindoro Tuna Fishers Federation; Alternative Fishing Grounds in the Philippines by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) National Marine Fisheries Development Center; and the Philippines in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission by the BFAR.

The second was the Canning/Fresh Frozen Group which covered: Commodity and Market Updates on Canned Tuna by the Tuna Canners Association of the Philippines; Commodity and Market Updates on Fresh Frozen Tuna by PhilFresh Corporation; and Market Accreditations and Certification for Philippine Fresh Frozen Tuna Products by HMA Management Consulting.