Strategies and tactics of tuna fishers in the payao (anchored FAD) fishery from general Santos city, Philippines

Edison Macusi, R.P. Babaran, P.A.M. van Zwieten

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Payaos or anchored FADs are used extensively in the Philippine tuna fishery. Currently, spatial regulations on FAD use are implemented with limited observance or understanding of their potential impacts. A combination of semi-structured interviews (n=150) and a total of six focus group discussions (n=61) from purse seine, ringnet and handline fishers of General Santos City provided a coarse indication of fishers' operational patterns and decisions on fishing tactics and strategies. Over a period of about 25 years, Filipino FAD fishers moved from inshore areas to offshore areas to catch oceanic tunas and FAD associated small pelagics and neritic tunas. Presently their catch rates are reported to be significantly higher at more distant sites. Due to the high density and spatial limitations of FADs deployment in nearshore areas, offshore deployment of FADs in a spatial network that is owned by a company has become a strategy to maintain hold of a fishing ground. Purse seine and ringnet fishers, as area specialists, operate from 70 to 1000 km from the fishing port and have an average reported catch rate of 14 t per set. Handline fishers which roam freely between FAD areas claimed by purse seine and ringnet fishing companies which operate from 90 to 1500 km from the fishing port with an average reported catch rate of 1.6 t per fishing trip. Strategic decisions on the deployment of FADs in fishing grounds were strongly modulated by availability of fishing space, environmental considerations and both experience and information on areas with good catches. Day to day tactical decisions were mainly explained by socially mediated information flows, weather patterns and economic factors, and to a lesser extent by fish behavior and regulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
JournalMarine Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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