The History of Tuna Fishing in Tambler, General Santos City, Philippines


This study presents the historical evolution of tuna fishing in Tambler, General Santos City with emphasis on the fishing methods. The paper focuses only on the tuna offshore fishing; sub-industries activities like fish marketing, smoking, canning, exporting and value-added processing would be discussed if deemed necessary but considered beyond the study. As a qualitative research, key informant interview, focus group discussion, site observation and documentary analysis were utilized to gather and triangulate data. Study findings showed that the tuna fishing in Tambler was once done in indigenous manner but across time, due to various factors, become highly industrialized. In Sarangani Bay, the B’laan used to fish in the estuarine area using bamboo and abaca net-traps especially by moonlight; while the Maguindanaon paddled boats with no outriggers to fish nearshore using abaca line and a hook made from a sharpened fishbone. However, with the arrival of the migrant fishers from Visayas and Luzon in late 1940s, better fishing techniques, e.g., beach seine, drift gillnet, and ring seine, and the use of outriggered boats and bamboo payao (fish aggregating device) had been introduced hence depleting the tuna resources in the bay. This depletion and the 1960s demand for sashimi-grade tuna by the Japanese market pushed the local fishers and investors to fish in the Moro Gulf and Sulu Sea with the use of bigger fishing vessels (unay) with onboard-refrigeration. Today, helicopters, sonar, powerblocks, modified payao made of metals, and modern fishing boats have been utilized for purse-seining in the high seas.

Author Information
Rebino Batoto, Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, The Philippines
Cecilia B. Tangian, Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology, The Philippines

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2017
Stream: Humanities - History, Historiography

This paper is part of the ACAH2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon