Characterization of the handline fishery in Batanes Province, Philippines


by:El Andro A. Obar, Mary Mar P. Noblezada-Payne, Harold M. Monteclaro, Ricardo P. Babaran


Ivatan fishers in Batanes Province belong to the municipal fishery sector, and many use various types of handline gears apparently because these gears are simple to operate. A census of handline gears was made and details of the fishing operations of six handline gears in February to May 2019 based from interviews, actual participation with fishing operations, and field enumeration are presented. The most dominant gear is the simple handline panayrin, which is used during the daytime. Fishers using a simple handline (payavavang) spend longer fishing hours, but their catch per unit effort is lower than that of simple handline (panayrin) fishers. Because it is more numerous and can be used more frequently throughout the year, payanrin contributes about 70% of total handline fish production. Technically, Ivatan fishers are municipal fishers because the scale of their operations is small-scale and their fishing grounds are confined well within the territorial zone of the province. The field observations revealed that many Ivatan fishers do not use boats when they use two minor handline gears, pole and line (pasid) and underwater hook and line (pangna), and the relatively modern rod and reel, simply called fishing rod in Batanes, in the nearshore zone, and usually bring their catch directly to their places of residence, suggesting that this portion of the overall catch is not reflected in estimates of annual total fish production. Although the contribution of these three nearshore gears seems low, this observation warrants another look, perhaps together with other non-handline gears to properly account for the total fish production of the province.

Keywords: municipal fisheries, small-scale fisheries, subsistence fisheries, handline gears, catch per unit effort,Ivatan, Batanes, Philippines