Amid shrinking catch and endless territorial disputes, hope keeps fishers afloat in the West Philippine Sea

In 2008, when Larry Hugo first ventured into the cerulean seas around Pag-asa island — 932 km southwest of the Philippine capital of Manila and known internationally as Thitu — he was stunned. Only a few hundred meters away from the shore, he found his outrigger boat already brimming with a wide array of fish. It was a haul enough to feed his small island community for a day. He sold it for P80 (US$1.60) per kilogram, primarily to military personnel stationed on the island.

READ MORE: Fishers on the Frontlines (

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