The 10th National Tuna Congress goes full blast tomorrow, September 3 at the KCC Convention and Events Center with the attendance of the stakeholders of the tuna industry from all over the Philippines and from our neighboring countries.

The theme for this year which is “Managing our Tuna Resource: Exploring Opportunities and Alternatives” is timely because it directs its attention on how our industry can survive despite our dwindling supplies (because of stricter fishing regulations of Indonesia, a main source of our catch, for one) and higher operational expenses.

A Tuna Congress Exhibit will start a day earlier, which is today at the long alley of the KCC Mall, Upper Ground Floor which features suppliers of fishing equipment and other services vital to the tuna industry.  Scheduled to open it at 9:30am are Congresswoman Darlene Antonino-Custodio and Mayor Jun Acharon.

Here’s the Press Release from Aian Fredluces of the 10th NTC Secretariat:

Comes September 3-4, 2008, the 10th National Tuna Congress will be focus on the tuna industry’s conscious effort on resource management and sustainability.

The Philippine tuna industry, primarily centered in General Santos City, the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”, has been facing a lot of challenges brought about by the various compounding issues such as the rising fuel costs, apparent decline of fish as raw material supply for both domestic and export markets and stiffer market requirements, among others.

This year’s theme, “MANAGING OUR TUNA RESOURCE: EXPLORING OPPORTUNITIES & ALTERNATIVES”, covers topics on investment opportunities along with the initiatives on resource management, alternative cost-saving techniques and discussions on the industry’s socio-economic impact and accountability.

Mr. Marfenio Y. Tan, President of the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing & Allied Industries, Inc. and at the same time, Chairman of the 10th National Tuna Congress said, “the industry positions itself towards a more proactive role in tuna and fisheries resource management, while looking at most feasible means available so as not to miss the various opportunities and options in staying competitive”.

Businessmen, scientists and policy experts from all over the country and abroad are expected to participate in this year’s congress.

The event will be highlighted by a trade exhibit showcasing various technologies, services, as well as products and supplies needed by the fishing and its allied industries, and a two-day plenary session discuss the issues and concerns of the tuna, as well as aquaculture players.

Organized by the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries, Inc. based in General Santos City, its membership include purse seine and handline fishing groups, tuna canners, processors and traders, and aquaculture producers.

Since its formation in 1999, the Federation has advocated for a more competitive and sustainable tuna sector, and played a crucial role in turning what was once a small Mindanao industry into a force in international fisheries.

Support for the Tuna Congress is provided by the City Government of General Santos, 1st Congressional District of South Cotabato, Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, SOCSKSARGEN Area Development Project Office, Department of Trade and Industry, and USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program.