MAASIM, SARANGANI – A record-breaking 35-kilogram yellowfin tuna allowed a local fisherman to bring home the winning trophy, cash prize and new boat engine in this year’s Sarangani Energy Corporation’s (SEC) fishing tournament.
The giant catch was landed by Manuel Alayacyac of Barangay Colon, Maasim, Sarangani Province and broke the record set last year by another yellowfin tuna which was recorded at 34 kilograms. Alayacyac joined more than 20 other fishermen in the contest.
The fishing tournament is on its second year and is held exclusively for local fishermen in Maasim in support of their Kestebeng Festival and foundation anniversary.
“We’ve been holding this activity exclusively for Maasim fisher folks, but we are thinking about making it bigger and opening it to other fishermen from nearby municipalities of Sarangani next year,” Ruben Tungpalan, corporate affairs manager for Alsons Power Group, the mother unit of SEC, said.
“But, priority talaga naman ang mga local fishermen from Maasim, kasi kanila itong festival and this is their place,” he added.
This year, more than 108 kilograms of fish were caught in the five-hour contest that started at 6 in the morning until 11.
Yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel, bonito, garfish and the local malmal fish were the common catch of the day and were sold to attendees after the event. All proceeds went directly to the fishermen who caught the fishes.
“SEC envisions this to be a community event, so the people in Maasim will see that we need to help preserve and protect the bay because it is full of life and big fish,” Renante Garcia, corporate communications officer for SEC, said.
Other winners for the highest catch in the tournament were Jerlito Garpia, who brought in an 11.5-kilogram Tanigue or Spanish mackerel, and Rende Sameon from Tinoto, who netted 10 kilograms of assorted small fish.
For the biggest single haul, Alayacyac bested everybody with his 35-kilogram tuna. He won P8,000 in cash prize, a trophy and new fishing boat motor. He was followed by Garpia with his 11.5 kilograms Tanigue, who brought home P5,000 and new boat motor as well. Coming in third was Dionisio Dinopol with a 4.8 kilogram Tanigue.
“Originally, we only had one fishing motor to give away, but the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) was so happy with the event that they decided to also award the second placer with a fishing motor,” Arlene Hollero, municipal fisheries coordinator, explained.
“I am so happy to see all these fishes that were caught in what we can call Sarangani Energy’s backyard. Because these were caught just a few kilometers off our jetty,” Jori Liimatta, SEC Plant Manager said.
“This only means that the efforts of SEC, LGU of Maasim, BFAR and our other partners are fruitful because we are bringing back life to the bay,” he added.