Landing & trading

The Philippines has zeven main fish port complexes which are also visible on the map of the Philippine country page:
  • General Santos Fish Port Complex
  • Navotas Fish Port Complex
  • Iloilo Fish Port Complex
  • Lucena Fish Port Complex
  • Zamboanga Fish Port Complex
  • Davao Fish Port Complex
  • Sual Fish Port Complex
The General Santos and Navotas Fish Port Complex account for 83% of the landings landed at these fish ports, which corresponds to 277,263 MT. These ports contain landings sites, storage facilities, grading facilities and auction halls that meet EU requirements for proper hygiene and sanitation. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) inspectors are present in these ports to verify the legality and origin of landings and to approve the accompanying paperwork. The management of these ports falls under the responsibility of the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority. With an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, these 7 fish ports are out of reach for most municipal fishermen and subsequently only 16% of the annual catch is landed here. The other 84% of landings take place in hundreds of smaller landings sites across the country. These smaller municipal landing sites are rudimentary and contain, in most cases, only a concrete peer to land the catch. Storage facilities, grading facilities and auction facilities are lacking. More importantly, these smaller landings sites do not meet any hygiene and sanitary standards and BFAR inspectors are not present. It should be noted however that BFAR is working hard to improve the situation. In 2015/2016, they made funding available to develop one hundred new landing sites across the country. If nothing valuable is caught, an artisanal fisherman will most likely land his vessel close to home. The fisherman and his family will consume some of it and the excess catch is sold to neighbours. When the fisher has caught more valuable products, like octopus, grouper or parrotfish, he will probably land his catch close to a befriended buying station in an effort to sell his catch. Buying stations are present everywhere along the coast and are generally owned by small businesses. However, some are owned by processing plants / exporters or are partially financed by processing plants. Fishermen sell their catch to the buying station that offers the highest price or to a buying station with which they have financial ties. Octopus is graded by the buying station manager and a price is agreed upon with the fisher whom is then paid in cash. After this, the octopus is cleaned and stored on ice slurry. Sometimes the octopus are gutted as well. Immediate arrangements are made for shipping to the processing plant since octopus easily deteriorates in quality.