By Restituto Cayubit
Manila Bulletin

TACLOBAN CITY – The province of Leyte is Eastern Visayas’ biggest fish producer in the fourth quarter of 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Regional Statistical Service Office (RSSO), reported here over the weekend.

Wilma A. Perante, PSA regional director, said Leyte produced 9,585 metric tons (MT) of fish, comprising 31.5 percent of the region’s production.

Samar ranked second at 7,650 MT, while Biliran had the smallest volume at 1,227 MT.

Perante the region’s fishing industry posted a 3.9 percent increase in production, from 29,306 MT in the same quarter of 2017 to 30,461 MT a year later, Perante said.

Eastern Visayas accounted for 2.5 percent of the country’s fishery production. It ranked sixth among the regions with low fishery production.

Commercial fishing went up by 6.4 percent, from 2,672 MT in 2017 to 2,844 MT in 2018.

All provinces in the region posted increases in commercial fishing, except Southern Leyte, which recorded a decline of 51.6 percent.

Leyte had the highest increase of 74.7 percent.

Municipal fishing in Eastern Visayas increased by 5.8 percent. Northern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte posted growths in production of 42.1 percent, 18.8 percent, and 6.8 percent, respectively.

Leyte’s fish production dropped by 23.7 percent, Eastern Samar by 19.5 percent, and Biliran by 3.5 percent.

Leyte’s aquaculture produced 7,294 MT accounting for 86.5 percent of the region’s production, Perante said.

Regional aquaculture production declined at bit at 0.7 percent. Samar, Northern Samar, and Southern Leyte recorded increases at 96.6 percent, 23.1 percent, and 16.7 percent, respectively.

Eastern Samar had the biggest drop of 31.2 percent.

More than half or 63 percent (19,179 MT) of the region’s fishery production came from municipal fishing. Aquaculture contributed 27.7 percent (8,437MT) and commercial fishing 9.3 percent (2,844 MT), Perante said.

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