The Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI), in collaboration with the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Pacific Community (SPC), and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) conducted the “15th WPEA-NSAP Tuna Data Review” on May 20-21, 2024, in Tagaytay City.

The activity aimed to review and validate the data collected for 2023 tuna catch estimates from the National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) nationwide. In addition, the outputs of the workshop will be presented at the upcoming 17th PTUNASTAT Annual Catch Estimates Review Workshop, scheduled on May 23-24, 2024.

In attendance virtually were Dr. Tiffany Vidal, principal fisheries scientist; and Peter Williams, principal fisheries specialist/consultant of the SPC. Meanwhile, physically present was Elaine Garvilles, assistant science manager of WCPFC.

Also present were Reinelda Adriano, chief statistics specialist of the Fisheries Statistics Division (PSA), Elsa Furio, chief of NFRDI-Capture Fisheries Research Development Division (CFRDD), Francisco SB. Torres, assistant NSAP coordinator, Suzette Barcoma, WPEA-ITM project leader. Other attendees included regional stock assessment project leaders and data analysts, and staff from NFRDI.

Regional Director Sammy Malvas of BFAR Region 4A and project leader of NSAP 4A, delivered the opening address emphasizing the importance of the event. “The reliability of the policy and the measures that would be formulated and implemented depends heavily on the quality of the data we submit. That is why this activity or event should be taken seriously, he said.

During the session, NSAP 2023 data by species, gear, and region were reviewed and validated, followed by consolidation of regional data. Data showed that the top contributing regions in terms of catch were regions 12 (40%) 7 (12%), 6 (10%), 8 (9%), CARAGA (8%), 9 (6%), and others (<0-3%). Notably, there was an overall increase in oceanic tuna catch compared to the previous year.

NFRDI-CFRDD Chief Elsa Furio concluded the workshop thanking the participants for their enthusiastic involvement. She provided summarized key points, including the importance of thorough data examination, refining methods for accurate estimates, improving data quality, and fostering collaboration for sustainable tuna fisheries management. She likewise cited the need to address gaps in data collection and explore innovative methods for improvement. ### (Vanessa Mae Escaño)