Circular economy in fisheries: How is fish market waste managed in the Philippines?
Improper management of fish waste has led to the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan to declare that Philippine fisheries are unsustainable. A considerable portion of fish waste is produced in wet markets, where bulk of fish products are sold. A comparison of existing practices in different localities can indicate the best points of intervention and identify existing traditional practices that can be promoted. This study interviewed fish vendors and fishers, and collected
... information at the market level, to determine existing fish waste management systems. From the responses gathered, the average daily production of fish waste in Philippine wet markets was 70.3 ± 65.4 kg, with no significant differences across locations (p = 0.2501). Of the fish waste produced, 32.3 ± 43.1 kg per wet market were disposed of, 18.9 ± 23.3 kg were sold, and 19.1 ± 21.9 kg were given away to stakeholders who re-use the fish waste. A significantly greater proportion of fish waste in rural areas were re-used compared to Metro Manila (p = 0.0311). Incentivizing innovations that maximize the use of derived fish waste at the municipal level, and promoting existing traditional practices, can prove effective in contributing to the Philippine circular economy while providing alternative sources of income for the stakeholders of the fisheries industry.