With all the islands and seas blessed with rich marine life, fishing is undoubtedly one of the major sources of livelihood in the Philippines. The fishing industry helps feed and provides the needs of several Filipinos over the years. Even in Filipino cuisine, seafood has become a big part of it and several tourists love the country for the abundance of fresh and affordable seafood they get to enjoy during their vacation.
Fisheries in the Philippines
Aquaculture in Luzon, Philippines
Despite all the seas and marine life in the Philippines, not all fishing happens at the sea. There are actually three types of fisheries in the country – aquaculture, inland capture fishery, and marine capture fishery.
Marine capture fishery, which is the most common, refers to fishing at the sea while aquaculture is involved with the production of aquatic animals and plants under managed and controlled conditions in freshwater, marine water, or brackish water (mixed of fresh and seawater). Inland capture fishery, on the other hand, is fishing in enclosed areas on inland bodies of water like estuaries, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers.
Types of Fishing in the Philippines
Municipal Fishing in Sarangani, Mindanao
The type of fishing in the Philippines varies depending on the location and availability of the resources.
This type of fishing occurs at the sea using bigger fishing vessels that are more than three tonnages. It’s purpose is to catch seafood in bulk for commercial profit and businesses such as seafood processing.
This refers to fishing done in inland and coastal areas with or without the use of a fishing vessel and simple fishing equipment such as gillnet, handline, small ring nets, and traps. Vessels should not be more than three tons and could either be motorized or non-motorized.
Traditional fishing is popularly practised in the Philippines even up to this day. This type of fishing used devices such as spear guns, sling spear, or pole gear. This refers to spearfishing and is commonly used by indigenous group Badjao (also known as Sea Gypsies and Sama people) in Mindanao. Another device used for traditional fishing is payaos, a fish aggregating device to attract pelagic fishes like tuna into handlines or fishing nets. Traditional payaos used to be a bamboo raft but it has been adapted into modern payaos which is made of steel and has fish lights and fish location sonar.
Also referred to as sport fishing, recreational fishing may not be as popular as other water activities or sports in the Philippines but it has become a hobby to many people. While you can always rent a boat to take you to the best fishing spots, fishing equipment such as rods and reels may not always be available.
Tips When Fishing
- Avoid using cyanide or dynamite when fishing. They destroy the coral reefs and other creatures underwater. They are also declared illegal and can get you sanctioned when caught.
- Several marine areas in the Philippines are protected so be sure to know which areas are allowed for fishing and which marine creatures are endangered so you can avoid them and help prevent their extinction.
- Avoid throwing your trash in the ocean.
- Apart from securing your fishing gear and equipment, don’t forget to take your safety gear such as sunscreen, first aid kit, rain gear, and others. You also need to always wear your personal flotation device properly.
- Bring along a bottle of drinking water to keep you hydrated.
- Be informed of weather forecasts and be conscious of tides and currents.
- The best time of the day to go fishing is early in the morning and at dusk.
- Pick the right fishing gear and equipment.
READ MORE: Activities & Adventure in the Philippines