- Print 1656-8818
- e-ISSN 2599-3917
The practice of capturing early juvenile fish disrupts the natural cycle of growth and reproduction of many fish species. This may eventually lead to unfavorable consequences, such as stock depletion and, possibly, even species extinction. Nevertheless, some specialized fisheries target the post-larvae or early juvenile stages of fish species because of their unique markets.
In the Philippines, juvenile fish are primarily sold as delicacies or as seed stock for aquaculture. For instance, padas, or the early juvenile of rabbitfish/ siganid (Siganidae), is processed as fish paste (bagoong) and is considered a local delicacy in some regions of the country.
The persistence of padas fishery is driven by the fisherfolk’s desire to earn more profit in the short term. However, some fisherfolk do not realize the adverse economic implications of such actions to the entire fishing community in the long run.
Although an associated value exists at their juvenile stage, siganids are more highly valuable when grown to full maturity. Therefore, the existence of a market for padas creates a dilemma among fisherfolk in deciding when it is more beneficial to fish. Subsequently, this decision determines the state of siganid fishery in an area.
Futhermore, private decisions regarding the specialized fishery of siganids, which have strong implications on social outcomes, warrant an in-depth investigation of the economic loss associated with it. Hence, an analysis was conducted in the case of coastal communities around the Lingayen Gulf, particularly in Bolinao and Alaminos in Pangasinan, where padas fishing is a common practice.