By Restituto A. Cayubit

TACLOBAN CITY – The province of Leyte led in the fishery production in Eastern Visayas in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the report from the Philippine Statistics Authority – Regional Statistical Service Office 8 (PSA-RSSO 8), based in this city,

Wilma A. Perante, regional director, PSA – RSSO 8 told Manila Bulletin that Leyte recorded the highest volume of fishery production at 12,993 metric tons (MT) in the fourth quarter of last year. It supplied 37.19 percent of the total fishery production in the region, she added.

Director Perante reported that Samar ranked second at 8,037 MT which accounted for 23.01 percent of the region’s total fish production. Southern Leyte, meanwhile, had the lowest volume of production at 1,459 MT. It provided 4.18 percent only of the total fishery production.

Perante also reported that among provinces, Leyte dominated in aquaculture production. It produced 8,331MT in the fourth quarter of 2019, comprising 85.84 percent of the total aquaculture production in the region. Samar ranked second at 1,016 MT, accounting for 10.47 percent share to the region’s total aquaculture production. Biliran, meanwhile, registered the lowest contribution with 0.23 percent share or 22 MT during the fourth quarter of 2019.

The director said that Eastern Visayas fishery production increased substantially by 14.69 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019. Its production went up to 34,936 metric tons MT, from 30,461 MT in the same quarter in 2018.

“Eastern Visayas ranked eleventh among regions with high fishery production in the country in the fourth quarter of 2019. The region contributed 2.73 percent only to the country’s total fishery production,” she said.

The source said that the municipal fishery production of 21,834 MT contributed almost two-thirds or 62.50 percent of the region’s total fishery production. Aquaculture shared 27.78 percent of 9,705 MT, while Commercial fishery accounted for 9.72 percent or 3,397 MT.

“Commercial fishery production posted the highest increase of 19.44 percent from among the subsectors of the fishery sector. Its production increased to 3,397 MT in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 2,844 MT in the same quarter of 2018,” Perante said.

Among provinces, Samar registered the highest volume of production at 1,540 MT. It comprised 45.34 percent of the total commercial fishery production in Eastern Visayas.

Southern Leyte, meanwhile, registered the lowest volume of production in the fourth quarter of 2019 at 91 MT. It shared 2.68 percent only of the total commercial fishery production in the region.

Samar Island (Samar, Eastern Samar and Northern Samar) topped the municipal fishery sector in Eastern Visayas in the fourth quarter of 2019. It posted a 67.31 percent combined share to the total municipal fishery (both marine and inland fishing) production of the region in the said quarter. Biliran, meanwhile, registered the lowest contribution of 1,321 MT or 6.05 percent share to the regional total.

The region’s total volume of municipal fishery production (both marine and inland fishing) registered an increase of 13.84 percent. It rose to 21,834 MT in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 19,179 MT in the same quarter of 2018. This growth was attributed to the hundredfold increase of 112.54 percent in Leyte Province’s production in the fourth quarter of 2019. This went up to 4,476 MT from 2,106 MT production in the same quarter of 2018. Biliran, Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte also posted increases at 43.49 percent, 28.54 percent and 7.22 percent, respectively. Whereas, Northern Samar went down by 14.60 percent, while Samar declined by 7.66 percent Volume of aquaculture production recorded a hefty increase of 15.02 percent. It rose to 9,705 MT in the fourth quarter of 2019 from 8,437 MT in the same quarter of 2018, Perante disclosed.

The expansion in aquaculture production in Southern Leyte (33.98 percent), Samar (30.55 percent) and Leyte (14.22 percent) resulted to the substantial increase in the regional production. Only Eastern Samar and Northern Samar recorded declines at 16.87 percent and 6.23 percent, respectively, she concluded.