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About The Mindoro Tuna Fishery


The island of Mindoro in the Philippines is home to 1.2 million people, including an municipal fishing community of about 3700 boats whose main catch is high quality yellowfin tuna. Fishing boats carry 3-4 fishers, use handline as their main gear, and capture, on average, one or two large fish per day.

In spite of being a traditional, municipal fishery, the sashimi grade fish that the fishers catch is quickly exported and traded in a global market, reaching consumers in a matter of days. As such, this is a good example of the interconnectedness of small scale fisheries with global markets.

The Mindoro municipal tuna fishery is currently estimated to be close to fully exploited, meaning that fishing effort cannot grow anymore without adversely affecting fish stocks and productivity. General Santos, a much larger commercial and municipal fishery located nearby, has seen stocks collapse. The government of the Philippines now protects municipal fisheries to a certain extent, barring most commercial fishing boats from coastal waters near the shore.

We used a number of recent studies on Mindoro that included detailed behavioral, decision making, and quantitative data in order to build a model. The core data source is the ADB EFACT study (2013), and additional information and expertise was provided by Philippines expert Annabelle Trinidad.