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Maasim fishing tournament: sporting Sarangani Bay’s life-filled asset

MAASIM, SARANGANI – At 3:00 o’clock in the morning Monday, June 19, Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) has opened the gates of its jetty area at Barangay Kamanga to blast-off at least 30 local fishermen participating the 1st Fishing Tournament in the municipality.

The local government here said the tournament was a highlight of Maasim’s 48th founding anniversary celebration and 10th Kestebeng Festival, with this year’s theme: “Peace and Prosperity Manifested through Festivity and Cooperation.”

Beating the 2:00 P.M - deadline, the duo of Edwin and Richard Cereṅo had arrived, checking - in a 38 - kilogram skipjack tuna. It was declared the biggest catch of the tournament.

Luck and Grit: – Cousins Richard (left) and Edwin Cereṅo (right) show their winning catch, during the 1st Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) Fishing Tournament at the SEC jetty on Monday, June 19. The Cereṅos, who took home a total of 20,000 pesos described their feat as a combination of luck and grit. Joining them is SEC’s HR-Admin & Project Assurance Head Joel Aton.

Other species caught by the participants include diwit (cutlass fish), tangigue (mackerel), Maya-maya (snapper) among others.

The tournament had only allowed trolling, jigging, popping and bottom fishing. Destructive means like sprikitik (rentex), bombs or explosives, nets, long lines, pana (spear fishing), tubli (poison) among others were strictly umpired by the marshals coming from the 805th squadron of the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary.

Sharks, whales, dolphins, stingrays, turtles, puffer fishes, cuttlefish, octopuses, and squids were also excluded as entries.

The designated fishing area was limited within 15 kilometers from the shoreline of Barangay Kamanga.

Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) power plant manager and tournament chairman Jori Liimatta inspects the entries during the 1st SEC Fishing Tournament at the SEC jetty on Monday, June 19. The local government here said the tournament was a highlight of Maasim’s 40th founding anniversary celebration and 10th Kestebeng Festival.

The winning participants of the 1st Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) Fishing Tournament are joined by SEC personnel and local government officials in the awarding ceremony during the 1st Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) Fishing Tournament at the SEC jetty on Monday, June 19.

Since The Department Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) lists Sarangani Bay as a Protected Seascape, participants were strictly told to drop their baits only beyond the boundaries of Maasim’s Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

“These huge freshly caught fish just prove our sea (in Maasim) is in good shape,” said Mayor Aniceto Lopez, Jr.

It can be recalled that years ago, critics have expressed apprehension over SEC’s 210 - Megawatt coal-fired power plant project in Maasim, believing the project including the jetty construction will destroy Sarangani Bay’s marine biodiversity.

“I don’t think so. From the start, I believe it’s not true,” said the 50 year-old Edwin Cereṅo.

For his part, Richard Cereṅo was grateful to the support the company had provided to the fisherfolk community in Maasim.

“The payaos (fish aggregating devices) are very beneficial to marginal fishermen like me. We don’t need to fish farther,” he said.

In November last year, the municipal government of Maasim have partnered with SEC and the Alcantara Foundation, in providing fish aggregating devices to the coastal barangays of Malbang, Kamanga and Tinoto.

“Protecting our seas forever means benefiting from seas forever. We appreciate your participation and we hope you will continue partnering with us not only on the fishing tournament but to other significant events aimed at conserving our seas,” said Joel Aton, SEC HR-Admin & Project Assurance Head.

Tourism director Rosario Mantua disclosed the SEC fishing tournament, dive safari among others will highlight Maasim’s ‘Global Seascape Experience Capital Destination’ package which they will be launching early next year.

“We will definitely do it again, we will do it bigger and better next year,” she said.

source: LGU-Maasim, Sarangani Province  [no-sidebar]

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