A VISIT TO THE GENERAL SANTOS CITY FISH PORT COMPLEX
Seeing the General Santos City Fish Port Complex is one of my main goal of visiting the province.
That was early in the morning when the ever-energetic Miss Vienna Quinanahan Borro, the Managing Director of LVA Travel Care and Allied Services fetch me from Ellis Suites to visit the fish port.
Dubbed as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines”, General Santos City claimed to be the largest producer of sashimi-grade tuna in the country.
As a travel blogger, I always made sure to travel light. One way to do it is just packed short pants because it’s less bulky and won’t consume much space in my backpack. Unfortunately, I just learned that short pants are not allowed inside the fish port. But Vienna asked the boys from the port to lend me jogger pants. Oh well, this experience made me change my travel packing habits. On my next travel, I will make sure to bring at least a pair of long pants…
I was amazed seeing a huge quantity of tuna at the port a manifestation of how rich our natural resources in the country.General Santos’ fishing industry delivers a total daily capacity of 750 metric tons of fish catch alone.
The moment we arrived at the place, we went straight to the office wherein boots are being rented at a minimal cost of PHP 35.00. I was happy that they gave us plastic to cover our feet when using the boots. It would be great if you are using some socks.
Before getting inside the area, all guests must pass through a foot bath for disinfection
Contrary to the usual stinky fish ports scenes in most fish ports, I visited in the past, the General Santos City Fish Port was clean, nice and orderly. Another nice thing which I noticed during that visit were the people at the port. They seemed to be all tourist friendly.
While asking few questions and asking them to pose for some photo ops would be a little disturbance to what they are doing, they all gladly accommodated my requests.
The tuna industry in General Santos employs about 8,000 workers being home to seven (7) tuna processing plants in the Philippines.
Visiting the General Santos City Fish Port must be done early in the morning to witness the unloading of tons of tuna from various fishing vessels.
The usual process of fish catch handling I saw at the fish port started from the unloading of tuna from the fishing boats. Each tuna was unloaded and carried individually by a stevedore or longshoreman. At times, the weight of the tuna they carry was even heavier than the weight of the person carrying the fish.
Right from the fishing boats, the tuna fish go straight to the weighing scale.
The stainless steel instrument called Sashibo is plunged into the tuna fish to extract a meat sample so that the value of the fish is determined.
The next step was the classification or grading of the tuna to find out which one will go for export; for canning or for local consumption.
To do this they do sample from the core of the tuna using a Sashibo. This long and thin stainless steel instrument is plunged into the fish above the pectoral fin, wherein a spaghetti-like piece of meat is extracted. By doing so, the overall texture, including color and visible fat is seen and made them decide on what classification or grade they will give to the fish.
some of the entrails and other parts of the tuna are being sold locally such as roe, etc.
The tuna of General Santos goes to any three major destinations after the grading process. Some go to the tuna canneries, others to the processors/exporters, while the rest goes to the local market catering the local consumers.
The tuna intended for export are cleaned immediately which includes the process of the removal of heads and entrails; scrubbing which removes all the excess blood which can damage the meat while in transit.
THE GENERAL SANTOS CITY FISH PORT COMPLEX
The General Santos City Fishport Complex is located in Barangay Tambler having a 750 meters (2,460 ft) quay and a 300 meters (980 ft) wharf for 2,000 GT reefer carriers. The famed fish port comes with modern facilities that adhere to international standards on handling fish catch.
Apart from unloading, the fish port serves as a venue for marketing of marine products both for local and foreign markets. The fish port has Harbor operations including the maintenance and repair of fish vessels; and has facilities for processing and refrigeration activities.
with Miss Vienna Quinanahan Borro at the General Santos Fish Port Complex
The General Santos City Fish Port is a destination which attracts many visitors every day. In 2014, the place was recognized by the Guinness World Records for having the largest yellowfin tuna display.
TIPS WHEN VISITING THE GENERAL SANTOS CITY FISH PORT COMPLEX
1. Come very early in the morning
2. Wear long pants. Shorts are not allowed.
3. For hygiene purposes. Don’t forget to wear socks as you will be wearing the rented boots. Though they also provide plastic to cover your feet when wearing the boots.
4. Bring your camera, of course.
Office of the Port Manager
GENERAL SANTOS FISH PORT COMPLEX
Brgy. Tambler, General Santos City, South Cotabato
Tel. Nos. (083) 304-94-74 / 552-08-35
This trip was made possible through the generosity of Miss Vienna Quinanahan Borro and her travel agency, LVA TRAVEL CARE & ALLIED SERVICES. If you wish to visit General Santos City, feel free to give her a call to assist you with your needs.
Alternate email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Landline: +83 302 5242; Mobile: +63 933 104 6098
Address: Door 2, Atty Lorenzo building, Aparente Street, Block 0, Dadiangas Heights Subdivision, General Santos City, 9500