In what is a clear sign that the election fever is in the air, three Presidentiables will be headlining the list of guests expected to attend the 11th National Tuna Congress scheduled on August 27-29, 2009 in General Santos City.

Meant to open the 11th GenSan Tuna Festival commemorating the city’s 41st Charterhood Anniversary, the 11th National Tuna Congress, which is expecting 400 delegates, will somehow, be an avenue for keynote speakers Vice-President Noli de Castro, Senator Loren Legarda and guest speaker Senator Mar Roxas to insert into their speeches, their take on a number of issues, but most specifically their plans for the fishery industry in particular…. if ever elected to lead the country in 2010.

This will be de Castro and Legarda’s first Tuna Congress outing while a 3rd one for Roxas. [quote1]

Their speeches alone should be worth more than the price of the registration fee, especially for the expected 400 delegates comprising the movers and shakers of the country’s fishery industry plus the stakeholders from other tuna-producing countries, all of whom are affected not only by the worldwide financial meltdown but by the dwindling supply of tuna catch all over.

Also all ears will be the hosts from GenSan, who despite the flat volume of tuna catches upload at the GenSan Fishport, still doubled to $300 million over the past 12 years their annual tuna exports volume, due in large part to the development of value-added manufacturers (value-added products: tuna sausage, hotdogs, embutido, chicharon, etc).  The presidentiables’ commitment of support for them, in any way possible, will surely be most anticipated.

The 11th Tuna Congress Poster
The 11th Tuna Congress Poster

According to Mr. Marfenio Tan, CEO of San Andres Fishing Industries, Inc., and president of the General Santos-based SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing & Allied Industries, Inc.,(SFFAII) lead organizer of the National Tuna Congress, the two-day event, in consonance with the theme, “Changing Mindsets towards sustainable fisheries, ” will conduct plenary sessions to address just that.

Scheduled are sessions on current management regimes & market trends, on investment opportunities along with the initiatives on tuna resource management, the industry’s socio-economic impact and accountability, fisheries and economic cooperation with various other industry players in the Pacific and in the BIMP-EAGA, updates on maritime boundary issues, safety and protection of property and life at sea, as well as the effects of the global financial crisis to the Philippine tuna industry.

The 11th National Tuna Congress will also present congress resolutions expressing the industry’s commitment and concerns towards a more sustainable and competitive tuna industry. [quote2]

A major highlight will be a Trade Exhibit at the same venue showcasing various modern technology, and services, as well as fishery products and supplies for fishing and its allied industries, from more than 60 merchants and dealers.

Entering its eleventh year now, SFFAII has been actively promoting for a more competitive and sustainable tuna sector, and perseveringly pushed for the Philippine Tuna Industry to become a considerable influence in international fisheries.

The SFFAII based in the Tuna Capital of the Philippines, General Santos City, whose membership includes purse seine and handline fishing groups, tuna canners, processors and traders, and aquaculture producers, has for the 11th year now, pursued a more competitive and sustainable tuna sector, and worked to make the Philippine Tuna Industry a major influence in international fisheries.

Working closely with the national government and various government agencies, the private-sector Federation also played a role in the creation of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, a treaty-based organization aimed at conserving and managing tuna and other highly migratory fish stocks.

The 11th National Tuna Congress is co-presented 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 & Industry, together with the assistance of various other supporters and development partners.

For more info,  contact the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing & Allied Industries, Inc. (SFFAII)

2/F SAFI 4 Building, Magsaysay Avenue

9500 General Santos City, Philippines

Telefax: +6383 552 9736; +6383 301 6543