Muro-Ami (Reef Hunters) is a Filipino film. It depicts one of the worst forms of child labor in the illegal fishing system. The film follows the story of Fredo, a ruthless captain of 150 muro-ami divers, who employ illegal fishing practices, such as pounding and crushing corals to scare fish, driving them towards the nets. With a high quota to meet, Fredo forces the divers, who consist mostly of children, to accomplish at least eight dives a day to meet their goal before the millennium. Tired and harassed after the burdensome task being given to them, the children have to make do in subhuman conditions in the Muro Ami boat, The Aurora. They sleep in rat-infested bunks and are fed only twice a day. Life above the water in the boat is much worse than the suffering the children encounter beneath the sea. For every dive, a child's life is perilously in danger.
The film has won 13 out of 14 nominations in the 1999 Metro Manila Film Festival, including Best Picture.
Fredo (Cesar Montano) is a fisherman who has endured more than his share of hardship in life; his wife and child both perished in a boating accident, and today Fredo approaches each trip to the sea with the angry determination of a man out for revenge. Fredo commands a crew of young people from poor families as he takes his rattletrap ship into the ocean in search of fish that live along the reefs, snaring catch with an illegal netting system. Not all of Fredo's youthful sailors are willing to put up with his abusive arrogance, however, and even his father Dado (Pen Medina) and close friend Botong (Jhong Hilario) have grown weary of Fredo's tirades. Fredo's body is beginning to betray him as well, and as he and his crew damage the sea's reef beds in search of fish, no one is certain how much longer he will be able to continue.
- Cesar Montano as Fredo Obsioma
- Pen Medina as Diyos-Dado Lacar
- Jhong Hilario as Botong Maldepena
- Amy Austria as Susan Bacor
- Rebecca Lusterio as Kalbo Kee
- Jerome Sales as Filemon Dolotallas
- Teodoro Penaranda Jr. as Tibor Lague
- Walter Pacatang as Tibo
- Ranilo Boquil as Kokoy
- Ariel Estoquia Mijos as Bahoy Ballasabas
Template:Expand section Production Credits
- Direction: Marilou Diaz-Abaya
- Screenplay: Ricardo Lee and Jun Lana
- Cinematography: Rody Lacap
- Film Editing: Jesus Navarro
- Production Design: Leo Abaya
- Art Direction: Bonna Fajardo and Mannix Mateo
- Music: Nonong Buencamino
- Producers: Butch Jimenez, Jimmy Duavit, Marilou Diaz-Abaya