BOUNTIFUL HARVEST. Fresh marine products such as varieties of fish are sold at P150 to P200 per kilo in the coastal villages of Datu Blah Sinsuat and Datu Odin Sinsuat towns, both in Maguindanao del Norte province.  The Philippine Statistics Authority bared Wednesday (March 1, 2023) that the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has maintained its ranking as the country’s top fish producer from 2012 to 2022. (Photo courtesy of Datu Blah Sinsuat Fish Vendors Association)

COTABATO CITY – The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) remains the country’s top fish producer for the past two years, the Philippine Statics Authority reported Wednesday.

In a report, the PSA said BARMM has maintained its ranking as the highest fish producer nationwide from 2021 to 2022.
Minister Mohammad Yacob of the BARMM’s Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Agrarian Reform (MAFAR) said the regional government seeks to continue sustaining fish production by strengthening its technical capability in partnership with the national government and fisheries research institutes.

“I would also like to extend my gratitude to our grateful fisher folks, and we are more than compensated by this achievement of remaining the top fish producer in the country,” Yacob said in a statement.

In the last two years, the PSA fisheries situation report showed that the BARMM fishery sector harvested a total of 1.3 million metric tons (MT) of fish, equivalent to 30.4 percent of the total volume of fisheries production in 2022.

Yacob attributed the achievement to the support of the provincial governments of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte, and Lanao del Sur, along with development partners that helped the fisher folks through technology transfer and training.

Esmael Sansaluna, a fisherman in Datu Blah Sinsuat town, Maguindanao del Norte, underscored the importance of strengthening law enforcement against illegal fishing for the region's marine industry to flourish further.

“I think we will continue to have bountiful fish harvests if we get more logistical and financial assistance from the BARMM regional government,” he said. (PNA)