Mamburao in Occidental Mindoro is emerging as a major source of yellow fin tuna (YFT) for export to Japan, Korea, Australia and member countries of the the European Union, according to an article by Randy Urlanda in the January 2019 issue of Agriculture Magazine published by the Manila Bulletin. About 500 tons of the fish are caught in the town annually.
Urlanda reports that tuna in Mindoro are caught by means of hand line (kawil) using a single hook and line method. This is considered more environment-friendly than the use of large, industrial nets that inevitably capture and kill a lot of marine life aside from tuna. That is why starting in 2010, Mamburao’s yellow fine tuna was preferred by importers from Switzerland, Germany, United Kingdom and other member countries of the EU.
Urlanda pointed out that YFT caught in Mindoro conformed to international standards for exporting tuna. In 2011 the local government unit of Mamburao partnered with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature which aims to conserve nature and ecological processes by preserving diversity and ensuring sustainable use of natural resources for a special project called Partnership Program Towards Sustainable Tuna (PPTST)
The parties involved in the project include the municipal agriculture office of Mamburao, the private sector, NGOs and the fisherfolk. PPTST was designed to propagate the proper handling and catching of tuna to sustain the supply in the area. Funding of the project came mostly from the German Investment Development Fund, an international funding agency.
Agriculture Magazine, by the way, is the most widely circulated agri magazine in the Philippines edited by Zac B. Sarian. It is available in bookstores and outlets of Manila Bulletin nationwide.