The skyrocketing prices of fuel are driving fishermen in this province out of business due to the huge expenses they incur on each fishing trip.

Andy Abata, 53, a fisherman from the island village of Cabalitian in the Municipality of Sualin the province of Pangasinan, Philippines, said they started limiting their operations due to the expensive diesel prices and the depleting catch.

“We no longer go on fishing trips on a daily basis. We have to cut back on our operations, especially now that there’s not much to catch and fuel price is so high,” Abata told the Inquirer.

Eduardo Bascao, 66, has also limited the use of his boat since it needs 15 litres of diesel for every fishing trip.

Bascao used to take his motorised boat up to the sea off Dagupan City and Binmaley town to catch “talakitok” (jackfish) and tuna when he could still afford the price of fuel.

“I can’t do it anymore. Life is more difficult now because of the rising fuel prices. If our catch is low, we have to wait two days to fish again,” Bascao said.

Angeles Mapanao, 78, another local fisherman, said he only managed to catch a kilo of fish on Tuesday after spending two litres of gasoline on his boat, noting that “it was not enough to get by.”

On Wednesday, groups of fishermen from Pangasinan and Zambales received P3,000 worth of fuel subsidy from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to ease the impact of the price hike.

Greg Perez, coordinator of the transport group Piston in Cebu, said some of their members decided to return to their respective provinces to find other jobs.