Coastal villages in limbo, millions in income lost a month after oil tanker’s sinking in Philippine waters

“Fishermen in this village (have) lost our livelihood due to the oil spill. Our problem is how to meet our daily needs,” said the 69-year-old, who 0-spent 20,000 pesos making a new 1.5km-long fishing net.

Mr Jordan, who became a fisherman at 7 years old, had also used his life savings of 200,000 pesos to build a new boat, completing it just weeks before the oil spill occurred.

His plans to use his new boat and net for the fishing season this summer will have to be put on hold for now.

“The boat will be ruined if not used for long. The wood will crack due to heat,” said Mr Jordan.


The site of the sunken tanker is a rich fishing ground, marked by a handcrafted buoy anchored by coconut husks that attract fish.

Prior to the oil spill, fishermen in nearby towns would profit from the variety of fish in the area, earning some 30,000 pesos on a good month.

A single trip to the site could yield around 100kg of fish. 
These trips, which take place twice a week, begin before the break of dawn, with multiple fishermen on board one boat splitting the gains among themselves. 

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