Publication Details

R. West, M. Ann. Palma, N. Barut, E. Garvilles & D. Ayanan (2011). Preliminary assessment of the handline (banca) fisheries in the Philippines (FIS/2009/033). Final Report. Canberra, ACT: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.


The Philippines, with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 2.2 million sq. km, including over 7,000 islands, relies on fisheries as one of its major industries, sources of employment and in promoting food security. The hand-line fishery using bancas (or pump boats), catching commercially viable species such as tuna, is a major component of both municipal and commercial fisheries in the Philippines. Hand-line fishing is considered one of the most sustainable forms of fishing in the country. However, the economic significance of the hand-line fishery is increasingly threatened by a number of factors, including poor information on the fishery and inadequate management and regulatory systems, which impact negatively on the economic development of the hand-line sector. An assessment of the current state of the hand-line fishery and the identification of opportunities to help improve its management regime were raised as research priorities by the Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). This Project provided a description of the nature of the hand-line fishery in three regions within the Philippines, namely Region V (Bicol), Region VIII (Eastern Samar) and Region XII (General Santos). New information was gathered through the collection of catch data from market sampling by enumerators and through interviews held with fisherfolks, fish processors, fishing companies, and local government councils. Regional workshops were also conducted to provide a venue for the discussion of problems and opportunities for improved management of the hand-line fishery.