A brief background on the Philippine Tropical Fish Exporter's Association (PTFEA):
In 1984, a concerned group of tropical fish exporters who realized that
other unethical individuals are taking advantage of our country's reefs,
established the Philippine Tropical Fish Exporters Assn. (PTFEA). They
wanted to ensure that there is a high standard in the industry and that
all marine fishes exported by its member companies are of the highest
quality and that it is caught through environment friendly, responsible
The PTFEA is the only association in the fishing industry that initiated and
maintains programs for training & educating fisher folks. It is dedicated
to the development of aquarium fish collecting by using legal techniques and
to the preservation & rehabilitation of endangered reefs.
In the mid-1980s, Mr. George Blasiola, then PIJAC president, headed a cyanide
fact finding mission in the Philippines. The mission was composed of several wholesalers
and dealers. They were assisted by Richard Ty, the first PTFEA president. The mission
found that there were generally no cyanide use in the Philippines. Although, there
were isolated cases of cyanide users who were either food fish fishermen or fish suppliers
to non-member exporters.
In March 1996, PTFEA and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) signed
a covenant to promote the rehabilitation of fish homes and coral reefs and eliminate illegal
ways of fishing. The PTFEA celebrated the occasion by donating several thousand meters of
nets to BFAR, which further affirms their commitment to this covenant.
Pictured above are PTFEA president Lolita Ty and 1996 BFAR Director Dennis Auraullo signing the covenant.
PTFEA Members during the oath taking, presided by BFAR Director Dennis Auraullo at BFAR Office
What we are doing now
In all the aquarium fish exporting countries in South East Asia, only the
Philippines, through PTFEA and other active non-government organizations (NGOs),
is involved in the preservation of its coral reef resources. Ever since PTFEA was
organized, its members have pushed for the importance of environment first before
the business aspects. Up to this day, we have not stopped in our efforts to
promote net fishing by free training and free nets and equipment to fishermen
who supply PTFEA's members.
PTFEA Members pose with BFAR Chief Inspector Philip Sta.Maria during net donation ceremony,
and other picture shows one of the recepients.
Our association is also committed to uplifting the living standard of our
fishermen. Our members have always given financial support to their fish suppliers,
not only for the fishing operations, but also for emergency situations, medical expenses,
and donations in times of sorrow. The association actively participates in local community
assistance projects, like donations of medicine, food and other vital supplies for
disaster victims, typhoon victims and the like.
Our future plans
The PTFEA plans to create a scholarship fund for the deserving children and grandchildren
of its suppliers and fishermen. The PTFEA also plans community building activities that will
help establish upgraded holding facilities for its suppliers
We will continue to update ourselves on the latest development in the industry,
especially concerning the environmental issues. We plan to actively cooperate with all
environmentally concerned local and international organizations now and in the future.