Subject: Philippines eyes Timor-Leste as possible source of tuna

Philippines eyes Timor-Leste as possible source of tuna

Source: Xinhua

19:35, January 19, 2010

The Philippines is looking at Timor- Leste as a possible source for tuna to fill the supply gap that will be created by a two-year ban on tuna fishing in certain parts of the high seas in the Pacific Ocean.

Malcolm I. Sarmiento, director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said Tuesday that the government will encourage local fishing operators to fish in the waters of Timor- Leste.

"We have a bilateral agreement with Timor-Leste. I think this would approximate the area that would be lost because of the ban," Sarmiento told reporters at the sidelines of the Coral Triangle Initiative Business Summit.

The Philipines is one of the world's biggest tuna exporters and the fisheries sector is one of its key industries.

BFAR projected that fisheries production for 2010 could still grow by 5 to 7 percent.

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