Tuesday, August 29, 2006


The Danger of the Oil Spill to Clean-up Workers

Because of the on-going clean-up of the oil spill in Guimaras, I would like to share this research results on the health danger to those peole who are now engaged in the cleaning up of the oil spill.


Authors: Carrasco JM. Lope V. Perez-Gomez B. Aragones N. Suarez B. Lopez-Abente G. Rodriguez-Artalejo F. Pollan M.

Title: Association between health information, use of protective devices and occurrence of acute health problems in the Prestige oil spill clean-up in Asturias and Cantabria (Spain): a cross-sectional study - art. no. 1

Source BMC Public Health. 6:1, 2006 Jan 3.

Abstract Background: This paper examines the association between use of protective devices, frequency of acute health problems and health-protection information received by participants engaged in the Prestige oil spill clean-up in Asturias and Cantabria, Spain.Methods: We studied 133 seamen, 135 bird cleaners, 266 volunteers and 265 paid workers selected by random sampling, stratified by type of worker and number of working days. Information was collected by telephone interview conducted in June 2003. The association of interest was summarized, using odds ratios ( OR) obtained from logistic regression.Results: Health-protection briefing was associated with use of protective devices and clothing. Uninformed subjects registered a significant excess risk of itchy eyes ( OR: 2.89; 95% CI: 1.21 - 6.90), nausea/vomiting/dizziness ( OR: 2.25; 95% CI: 1.17 - 4.32) and throat and respiratory problems ( OR: 2.30; 95% CI: 1.15 - 4.61). There was a noteworthy significant excess risk of headaches ( OR: 3.86: 95% CI: 1.74 - 8.54) and respiratory problems ( OR: 2.43; 95% CI: 1.02 - 5.79) among uninformed paid workers. Seamen, the group most exposed to the fuel-oil, were the worst informed and registered the highest frequency of toxicological problems.Conclusion: Proper health-protection briefing was associated with greater use of protective devices and lower frequency of health problems. Among seamen, however, the results indicate poorer dissemination of information and the need of specific guidelines for removing fuel-oil at sea. [References: 18]

(If you have any comment/suggestion, please send it through my email: melcichon@yahoo.com )


Muro Ami, the Fishing Gear


Melchor F. Cichon
August 29, 2005

This writer is very grateful that the muro ami, the fishing gear, has been banned in the Philippines. this is specified in Sec. 92 of the Philippine fisheries Code of 1998 (RA 8550), which says that:

Sec. 92. ban on Muro-ami, Other Methods and Gear Destructive to Coral Reefs and Other Marine Habitat. It shall be unlawful for any person, natural or juridical, to fish with gear method that destroys coral reefs, seagrass beds, and other fishery marine life habitat as may be determined by the Deaprtment. "Muro-Ami" and any of its variation, ansd such similar gear and methods that require diving, other physical or mechanical ascts pound the coral reefs and other habitat to entrap, gather or catch fish and other fishery species are also prohibited."

But it cannot be denied that this fishing gear is one of the most productive fishing gears in the country.

If we look at the fisheries statistics, muro ami was the top four fishing gears in the country before the 1981s.

Fishing Gears…..Production (in kilograms)

Purse seine…..168,918,000
Bag net…..107,229,000
Ring net …..39,774,000
Muro ami…..10,058,000
Hook and line….. 5,923,000
Push net …..5,336,000
Gill net…..2,350,000
Round hawl seine …..1,817,000
Long line…..1,170,000
Beach seine…..510,000

Despite its great production and the number of fishermen it employed, muro ami was also one of the most controversial fishing gears in our country. It contributed in the destruction of coral reefs.

According to Tacio, this drive-in net was introduced by the Okinawan fishermen before World War II. It is used for fishing in coral reefs. It has two long wings which are driven by divers to lead the fish to the main net. It has vertical scarelines weighed down by stones or chain links that create noise or disturbance on the corals. This drives out the fish from the coral reef to the net.

According to Dr. Angel Alcala, each muro-ami uses 10 to 150 swimmers that use scare lines attached to an oval rock weighing 4 to 5 kg. The swimmers repeatedly drop the rocks on hard corals as they move towards the bag net. This procedure creates noise and disturbance at the sea bottom, driving schooling and bottom-dwelling fish towards the bag-net, but in the process, it breaks branching and other delicate hard corals.

The divers are usually children wearing nothing but a pair of goggles.

Because of this system, much coral fishes are caught, and much corals are also destroyed.
Below is the production of muro ami since 1949 up to 1987. After 1987, no production of this fishing gear has been reported because the Philippine government has banned it

Year…..Production (in kg)
1980...Not available(na)

According to a report, marine biologists Ken Carpenter and Angel Alcala conducted a study on muro-ami in l977 and they found out that "50 divers operating the gear could damage as much as l7 square meters per hectare of coral reef per operation. A muro-ami fishing boat usually operates 3-4 times in a fishing season.

While he admitted that muro-ami is an effective fishing gear, Dr Rafael D.Guerrero III of the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development cited some dis-advantages.

"The problems related to muro-ami fishing are its employment of minors (young boys) for fishing, their exposure to health hazards (like the "bends" or narcosis) and the destruction of coral reefs because of the weighted scarelines."

What happens if the corals are destroyed? Definitely, there will no more shelter area and feeding place for fishes, and so they have to look for another feeding place. That is if they have not been caught yet, and if there are still available coral reefs.

As of 1990, only about 5% of our coral reefs are in excellent condition; the rest are either in fair to poor condition.

It was said that the Philippine coral reefs provide food and shelter to as many 2,000 fish species living in it.
It also serves as a buffer against the impact of waves.

Some plants and animals that live in coral reefs are sources of anti-cancer drugs and valuable products.
Lastly, coral reefs attract tourists.

Looking back, perhaps the government should devise a scheme that would utilize the same principle being used in muro-ami in catching fish, except that the dragging device is not stone or metal so that the coral reefs would not be destroyed. Perhaps sound waves from other devices would be developed to scare away fishes from the coral reefs.

An alternative fishing gear was devised, the pa-aling, to replace muro-ami. But it was also found out that it is as destructive as the muro-ami.

This writer does not know if this fishing gear was also banned. If it is not, then it is high time that it should be.


Henrylito D. Tacio. "Where has all the coral gone?" http://www.peopleandplanet.net/doc.php?id=1716&PHPSESSID=26aa907ad49570378b63f1c4cae97fb5, retrieved: June 21, 2005)
Hall, Howard. " Muro Ami." http://www.howardhall.com/stories/muro_ami.html. retrieved: June 21, 2005
"Our coral reefs." PCMRD Currents. August 1999.
Philippine News Agency. "Human folly blamed for coral reef destruction in RP Environmental." http://www.bayanihan.org/html/public_html/article.php?story=20021220033955682. Retrieved: June 21, 2005.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Imbaw: An Abstract-Bibliography

Melchor F. Cichon
August 26, 2006


I have observed that lately biology students from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas and some researchers from the same University have become interested in imbaw, a mud clam, Anodontia edentula. This bivalve is common in mangrove areas and is a delicacy in Western Visayas, especially in Panay and Guimaras.

To help them find literature on this subject, I surfed the internet and luckily I found about six. I also checked the theses collection of the UPV, and I found some more. The results (16) of that search are found below.

As of this date, the focus of the research on this species is on its reproduction. We still have to know its behavior, culture, diseases and pests, ecology, feeding habits, handling and processing, physiology, economics, and life history. We also still have to know its enzymes. Aside from food, what other economic values can be produced from this bivalve?

Indeed, there are many more things to know about imbaw.

I challenge our researchers to find that out.

Through this search, I noticed that there are two species of imbaw: the Anodontia edentula and the Austriella corrugata. How are they different from each other, I still have to find that out.

The abstracts were written by the respective authors. I included them here as a public service to all those who are interested in this subject.

But if you have additional research work about this bivalve, please notify me through the Comment Post of this blog.

The theses are available at the CAS Ref/Serial Section of the College of Arts and Sciences Library, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo, Philippines.

1. Arboleda, Erika Anfone. 1999. Effect of sperm concentration on fertilization rate and the timing of early developmental stages of imbaw, (Anodontia edentula). 19 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. In this study, effect of sperm concentration to fertilization rate is investigated. Also, the timing of early developmental stages is done. Sperm concentration at seventy is most effective although not significantly different. In the range used, effect of sperm concentration to fertilization rate is broad. The concentration of ten sperm per egg is least effective and significantly different from all the rest. In developmental stages, polar body extrusion is observed after ten minutes from fertilization. Two-cell and four-cell is formed within an hour. After two hours, eight-cell and sixteen-cell stage is noted. The larval stage trocophore is already present after the fifteenth hour. The straight-hinge veliger can be observed after twenty four hours.

2. Dideles, Kristi Marie Joie. 2005. A preliminary study of sexual dimorphism and hermaphroditism occuring in the mud clam sp., Austriella corrugata (Deshayes, 1843). 2005. 33 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at CAS Ref./Serials. 75 leaves. Austriella corrugata, commonly known as imbaw laki, inhabits the muddy bottom of mangrove areas, or the adjacent mudflats. To date, there is only one reported study regarding this clam which is a potential aquaculture species. Further research on the biology and distribution of this clams can greatly contribute to the recognition of this species as an important source of food and income. Thus this study was conducted to gather preliminary investigation on the characterization of imbaw laki. Sexual dimorphism was found to be exhibited by A. corrugata which was determined by its shell morphology and gonad characterization. Maturity rates were last determined through gonadal biopsy and was noted to be constant throughout the sampling months. Monthly maturity rates was also correlated with the GSI values of the clams. Hermaphroditism was also found to be present in the clam population which was also determined through gonadal biopsy and histological examination of gonad sections.-"

3. Guevarra, Ann F. 2005. A preliminary study on fecundity measure of the mudclam Anodontia edentula. 26 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at CAS Ref./Serials. Fecundity measure of mud clam Anodontia edentula, locally known as "Imbaw" was the main focus on this study. The external characteristics of the clams such as the shell length width and height were measured. Eggs were also counted an its characteristics were also noted. Results show that there is direct relationship between the shell length and the number of eggs the clams produce. Moreover, it was observed that big clams with shell length that range from 40mm to 55mm are considered to be mature and thus produce large amount of eggs compared to clams which have shell length sizes that ranges from 22mm to 39.99mm. The big clams (40mm-55mm) obtained a higher fecundity with the value of 2,200,947 or 2.2x10 raise to the 6th power eggs compared small clams (22mm - 39.99mm) which only got 628,852 of 6.3 x 10 raise to the 5th power eggs. among the factors that affect fecundity, food availability and stress in the environment were found to affect the clams greatly.-"

4. Lacuesta, Vanessa Christine Y. 1999. Some aspects of the reproductive biology of Anodontia edentula Linne, 1758. 41 leaves. Undergraduate thesis. B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. Anodontia edentula also known as "Imbaw" is an important source of livelihood of some households in the province of Guimaras and in some parts of Panay. This study hoped to give more light on previous studies conducted on the reproductive biology of the species. The study aimed to established a criteria for assessing maturity of the gonads for induced spawning; compare the effectivity of gonad extract and serotonin to induce spawning; determine the number of eggs and the size of eggs spawned for females and the number of sperms spawned for males and to describe the histological appearance of gonad prior to spawning, spent and several days after spawning. The experiment was conducted from September 1998 to February 1999. The broodstock were acquired from barangay were acquired from barangay Lawi, Jorda, Guimaras and transported to the Institute of Aquaculture of the College of Fisheries, UPV, Miag-ao Iloilo. Only clams with shell length greater than or equal to 40mm were used for the experiment. The GSI and the biopsy technique were both employed as bases for assessing gonad maturity prior to induced spawning. Although the difference is insignificant, the GSI's and the ratios of stalked to unstalked oocytes of spawners were higher than nonspawners. For induced spawning, biological stimulation using gonad extract was more effective in terms of inducing female spawners (no. of eggs: 1.89 x 10 raised to the fourth power, egg diameter: 9.5 æ) than chemical stimulation using at least 2.5 mg/ml of serotonin ( no. of eggs : 5.35 x 10 raised to the third power; egg diameter : 8.6 æ ). Serotonin however was more effective in inducing sperm release (2.30 x 10 raised to the fifth power sperms/ml) in clams than the gonad extract (2.22 10 raised to the fourth power sperms/ml). Ripe gonads were an orange-white to creamy white color, turgid with a thin surface covering while spent gonads were flaccid and purplish in color. Histological analyses showed that prespawning males had mature spermatozoa free in the lumen while females had stalked oocytes undergoing vitellogenesis attached to follicular walls; mature, spherical oocytes were also observed. Spent clams had shrunken tubules with developing sperms lining the periphery. Spen female clams had collapsed follicles and only light stained residual oocytes remained at the periphery. An increase in the number of germ cells was observed in gonads several days after spawning.-"

5. Lebata, M. J. H. L. 2000. Elemental sulfur in the gills of the mangrove mud clam Anodontia edentula (family Lucinidae) Journal of Shellfish Research. 19(1):241-245, 2000 Jun.

6. Lebata, M. J. H. L. 2001. Elemental sulphur in the gills of the mangrove mud clam Anodontia edentula: evidence of symbiosis. Journal of Shellfish Research. 20(3):1273-1278, 2001 Dec.

7. Lebata, M. J. H. L. and J. H. Primavera. 2001. Gill structure, anatomy and habitat of Anodontia edentula: Evidence of endosymbiosis. Journal of Shellfish Research. 20(3):1273-1278, 2001

8. Lebata, M. J. H. L.2001. Oxygen, sulphide and nutrient uptake of the mangrove mud clam Anodontia edentula (Family : Lucinidae). Marine Pollution Bulletin. 42(11):1133-1138, 2001 Nov.

9. Millarez, Christian E. 2005. Sex ratio, spawning periodically and sexual dimorphism of the mud clam "imbaw", Anodontia edentula (Linne, 1758), from Nueva Valencia, Guimaras Islands. 37 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. The study was undertaken on one population of the local mud clam "imbao bayi", Anodontia edentula, to investigate sex ratio and maturity distribution of the population as well as the previously reported sexual dimorphism, spawning periodically and occurence of hermaphroditism. The samples were collected from Brgy. Lawi, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras between August until December, 2004. Results showed that females outnumber males in the population with very rare occurrence of hermaphroditism. In the histological section of the hermaprodite gonad, the female part seemed to be more prominent than the male part. Also, gonadal biopsy showed the population was dominated by mature males and immature females. The fluctuation of their occurrence in the population is related to the spawning activity of the clam. GSI trend confirmed the previous observation that gametogenesis occurred throughout the year and major spawning occurred in the month of Nov. and Dec. Moreover, sexual dimorphism seemed to be apparent in the population sampled; males have a more pointed, triangular umbo while females have a more curved umbo. However, the previously reported height and color dimorphism were found to be insignificant.-"

10. Primavera, J. H., M.J.H.L. Lebata, L. F. Gustilo and J. P. Altamirano. 2002. Collection of the clam Anodontia edentula in mangrove habitats in Panay and Guimaras, Central Philippines. Wetlands Ecol. Mgt. 10:363-370.

11. Samentar, Lorena P. 1997. A preliminary study of the reproductive biology of "Imbaw", Lucinoma annulata (Reeve, 1850).35 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. Lucinoma annulata, a mud clam locally known as "imbaw" is an important fishery resource which supports the livelihood of some households in Guimaras. Thus, to properly manage this important and fast disappearing resource, knowledge of its reproductive biology is necessary. This study aimed 1) to histoligically describe the gonads of Lucinoma annulata and 2) to determine spawning peaks and reproductive cycle of the mud clam. Monthly samples were collected from July 1996 to February 1997. After the determination of the length and the GSI the clams were processed histologically. Histological examination showed that Lucinoma annulata may either be a hermaphrodite or a female . However, hermaphrodites were more frequently encountered in clams with shell length 25mm to 40mm and also in clams with shell length greater than 55mm. Females were predominant in individuals with shell lengths greater than 40mm to 55 mm. Lucinoma annulata with size range from 25 mm to 70 mm in shell length were found to have either spermatozoa or vitellogenic oocytes in the gonad. However, in hermaphrodite specimens, the male system is the first to produce mature germ cells, which probably suggest a trend towards protandry. Data on GSI showed that the clam might be in active gametogenesis in October and November when GSI was high and spawned in December when GSI was relatively low. The presence of several small peaks implies that spawning is continous in this species. Moreover, the presence of juveniles in the mantle cavity of mature clams suggests brooding in this species. Hermaphroditism and brooding of the young observed in Lucinoma annulata may be an adaptation of this species to overcome difficulties in reproduction and survival.-"

12. Samentar, Lorena P., Minda J. Formacion and Jane S. Geduspan. 2004. Reproductive biology of the mud-dwelling clam, imbaw (Anodontia edentula) in guimaras Province, Central Philippines. UPV J. Nat. Sci. 9(2):217-228. Anodonta edentula, commonly known as imbaw, is an economically important clam found in mangrove areas in Guimaras, Central Philippines that supports the livelihood of many households in the area. To properly manage this economically important shellfish resource, the reproductive biology of this bivalve was studied for a one-year duration. The monthly mean gonadosomatic indices showed regular peaks suggesting that this species spawned throughout the year with highest peak from April to May probably followed by massive spawning thereafter. Histological observations revealed four categories of gonad condition, namely: developing, ripe, spawning and spent. The gonads are surrounded by thick muscular capsule. As the clams increased in shell length, the thickness of muscle and connective tissues dividing the gonads into compartments decreased in size accordingly. A. edentula reached sexual maturity at 35 mm shell length when gonads indicated predominance of either spermatozoa or mature oocytes. The specimens were either male or female, with an occasional

13. Sorongon, Ida P. 1996. A preliminary study of the mollusk locally known as "Imbaw" 1. Characterization and determination of sexual dimorphism. 37 leaves. Undergraduate thesis. B.S. Biology, U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. The mollusk, locally known as "Imbaw" belonging to the family of Lucinidae refers to two species of bivalves, identified as Lucinoma annulata and Anodontia edentula under subfamily Myrteinae and Milthinae respectively. Each species has different morpholochical features as they differ in ridges, shell length, width, height, ligament or attachment of both valves and color of periostracum. Internally they differ in gonad color and size. In both species, sexes are separate although little differences can be observed in shell structure to distinguish the female from the male. Gonadal somatic index was found to be greater in females.-"

14. Taylor JD. Glover EA. 2005. Cryptic diversity of chemosymbiotic bivalves: a systematic revision of worldwide Anodontia (Moltusca : Bivalvia : Lucinidae) [Review] Systematics & Biodiversity. 3(3):281-338, 2005 Sep.

15. Teodosio, Joanne Ramos. 2004. A preliminary study of the gonadal maturation of "imbaw", Anodontia edentula (Linne, 1758). 28 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B.S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. The gonadal cycle of "imbaw", Anodontia edentula, a fast-growng mudclam was investigated by histological examination following spawning. This study provided preliminary information about the gonadal stages of imbaw. Gonads and gamete development were observed in imbaw every week after spawning for one month in clams with shell length from 45 mm to 55mm. The increase in the number and size of oocytes and sperm cells for both post-spawning ovary and testis indicates that gametogenesis restarted right away. The presence of residual oocytes after spawning suggests that this species is a partial spawner. Further observations shows that oocyte develops slower than in pserms and that oogenesis may occur in batches. The results suggest that the gametogenic for this species is continuous and mud clams can spawn year round.-"

16. Yu, Rosito D. Jr. 1997. Preliminary study of the gonadal development of "Imbaw Laki", Anodontia edentula (Linne', 1758). 1997. 33 leaves. Undergraduate thesis-B. S. Biology-U.P. in the Visayas, Iloilo. Available at: CAS Ref./Serials. The study aimed (1) To gather preliminary information on the sexual maturation of Anodontia edentula by histological descriptions of the gonad, (2) To correlate shell size with stage of gonadal development , and (3) To determine the size range at which sexual maturity is attained. (p)Eighty-one mud clams were obtained from Panubulon, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras and shell length, width, height, body and gonad weight were measured. The mud clams were categorized into Subclass 4 (60-70 mm) based on shell length. Three to five gonads were randomly selected from each subclass, processed histologically into serial slide sections, and examined under the microscope. Results suggest that Anodontia edentula is hermaphroditic and protandric such that the testicular region is sexually mature at shell lengths of 30mm or less, and the ovarian region at shell lengths of 50-60 mm. The GSI is inversely related to shell length such that as shell length increased, GSI decreased. This attributed to the shrinkage of tissue as spawning and release of gametes progress.-"

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Fisheries Website: C

This is the second part of the series of websites on fisheries and aquatic sciences.
Again, please be reminded that some of the sites here might have been removed from the web.
Some of these sites might provide free full text materials, others might just provide abstracts.
If in case the link/s cannot be retrieved, try to cut the link and paste it in yahoo or google's search engine.

The CAICOM Fisheries Resource Assessment and Management Program (CFRAMP)

California Academy of Sciences
The California Academy of Sciences is a privte, nonprofit institution, supported by donations from corporations, foundations and individuals. It has eight scientific research department, namely anthropology, aquatic biology, botany, entomology, herpetology, ichthyology, invertebrates zoology and geology, and ornithology and mammalogy.

Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

cjfas--Available here are articles in pdf format and in full text from January 1996 to June 2003. (as of July 20, 2003) If the link cannot be retrieved, copy the title of the this journal and paste it in the yahoo search engine. You will be directed to their website.

Caviar Emptor--
A campaign to protect and restore critically endangered beluga sturgeon and other threatened Caspian Sea sturgeon.

Center for Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources

The Center for Environment and Aquaculture Science
CEFAS, a UK-based research and consultancy centre. A provider of services in fisheries science and management, environmental monitoring and assessment, fish farming, fish health, disease and hygiene to clients around the world.
It provides the following links:

Cefas Technology Ltd
European Community reference laboratory for monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs
UK national reference laboratory for monitoring bacteriological and virological contamination of bivalve molluscs
Registry of Aquatic Pathology
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Our parent organisation)


aNSwer - North South website of environmental research
Business Link Suffolk
Chamber of Shipping
DEEPSEA Research Newsgroup
Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland
Environment Agency
Environment and Heritage Service
European Oilfield Speciality Chemicals Association (EOSCA)
Fisheries Research Services
Food Standards Agency
IMarEST - The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology

Marine Environmental Data Cefas works to improve the accessibility and availability of UK data through membership of the Marine Environmental Data (MED) Action Group, part of the
Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (www.marine.gov.uk).
The OceanNet website (www.oceannet.org) has been set up by MEDAG as a portal to data and information about the marine environment.
North Atlantic Fisheries College
Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association
Seafish Industry Authority
SeaFood Intelligence.com
Sea Vision UK
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Turning the Tide - Millenium Project, Durham
Thames Estuary Partnership
UK Marine Information Council
University of East Anglia, School of Biological Sciences
University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences
University of Liverpool, Infochem Science and Internet Software List
University of Wales, Bangor
University of Wales, Bangor, School of Ocean Sciences


CORDIS Home Page
EUCC Coastal Union
EU Community Reference Laboratory for Fish Diseases
eSeFDee Marine Science Portal for the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean
EurOcean - European centre for information on marine science and technology
European Commission - Environment Directorate-General
European Commission - Research Directorate-General
European Commission - Fisheries Directorate-General
French Ministry of Country Planning and Environment
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
ICES Denmark
NAUSICAÄ - French National Sea Experience Center
Norwegian Institute of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Trondheim Marine Systems Research Infrastructure
United Nations Home Page
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Rest of the world

California Academy of Sciences WWW Server
ENDS Environment Daily
National Shellfisheries Association
NOAA Fisheries - Northeast Fisheries Science Center
NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center
Registry of Tumors in Lower Animals
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
http://www.the-science-lab.com/directory of science related sites
University of Delaware, Ocean Information Centre (OCEANIC)
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
World Aquaculture Society

Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture

Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (ICAR), India

Chanrobles Law Virtual
provides fulltext free access to Philippine laws, including fisheries laws and laws on environment

Cichlid Homepage (CHOP)

Coastal Fisheries Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community

Coastal Fisheries Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community

Coastal GIS bibliography

Coastal Resources Management Project, The

Coastal Resources Research Network (CoRR)

Coastal Zone Conference Series
The coastal zone conference series is the premier international gathering of ocean and coastal management professionals. The largest of its kind, this biennial symposium attracts over 1200 participants from the around the world.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Fisheries Websites: A

Web Sites On Fisheries

Melchor F. Cichon
College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Library
University of the Philippines in the Visayas
Miag-ao, Iloilo
August 2003

The following web sites on fisheries were culled from different sources. The compilations in Naga; the ICLARM Newsletter and from the compilation of Dennis Almazan Mateo (unpublished, 2002) provided a lot of information.

Arranged alphabetically, most of the items have short descriptions to serve as guide.

It must be noted that since this compilation was done since 2002, it is possible that some of the sites have been removed from the web or they have been changed.

It must be noted too that some of the sites provide free full text, but others might just give free abstract.

Due to the bulk of this list, I will just post it serially.

This is Part I: A

Abalone Network

AFS Journals Online

Agriculture Science Data
Provides information on research and data from 400 scientific journals at little or no cost.
Agricultural Network Information Center (AgNIC)http://www/agric.org/


A regional community-based aquatic resource management programme, executed by the FAO. Activities comprise: field work on small scale fisheries (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe); field work on integrated irrigation-aquaculture (Tanzania and Zambia); establishment of a SADC Water Resource Database; training and workshops on water resource management issues; and provision of information on water resource issues through hardcopy and electronic publications

Ambio Online http://www.ambio.kva.se/

American Fisheries Society, The

American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

American Society of Microbiology
below is the list of journals published by the Society
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Clinical Microbiology Reviews
Eukaryotic Cell
Infection and Immunity
Journal of Bacteriology
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Journal of Virology
Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Minireview Collection of all Journals

American Tilapia Association

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Provides free full-text issues, six months after.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Provides free full text, except for the current issue

Aquatic Network
Information service for the aquatic world. Subject areas include aquaculture, fisheries, limnology, maritime heritage, oceanography, ocean engineering and seafood. The network includes database, news, articles, employment and business opportunities, an online store and a product/services directory.

Aquaculture Journals in the WWW:
...African Journal of Aquatic Science
...Aquaculture Economics and Management --Journal for marketing, financial modeling
...Aquaculture Engineering--Design and development of effective aquaculture systems for marine and freshwater systems
...Aquaculture International--Journal of the European Aquaculture Society
...Aquaculture Nutrition Primary journal for nutrition of domesticated fish, some physiology
...Aquaculture- One of the primary scientific journals of aquaculture, covers all aspects
...Aquaculture Research--Culture studies, physiology, restocking, nutrition, reproductive physiology
...Aquarium Sciences and Conservation
...Fisheries Management and Ecology
...Fisheries Oceanography.
...Fisheries--Issues in fisheries and fisheries profession (education, jobs, labs, etc.)
...International Journal of Recirculating Aquaculture --Intensive recirulating systems for hatcheries and production
...Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh --Covers many issues in freshwater and marine aquaculture.
...Journal of Applied Aquaculture
...Journal of Aquaculture in the Tropics
...Journal of Aquatic Animal Health--Fish diseases, epidemiology, also inverts, environmental impacts
...Journal of Fish Diseases--Diseases of fish in the wild and captivity, environmental impacts
...Journal of the World Aquaculture Society - The other primary journal, covers all aspects, published by the WAS
...North American Journal of Fisheries Management--Primarily fisheries management topics, freshwater and marine
...Panorama Acuicola--Journal of Aquaculture in Latin America
...Progressive Fish Culturist/North American Journal of Aquaculture--Fish husbandry, some life history, restocking studies, agency hatcheries more than commercial aquaculture published by American Fisheries Society
...Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries
...Reviews in Fisheries Science--Fisheries management, aquaculture, fisheries ecology
...Transactions of the American Fisheries Society--Focuses on life history, production models, some physiology, and fisheries management.

Aquaculture Network Information Center
The Aquaculture Network Center is a gateway to the world’s electronic aquaculture resources. AquaNic is coordinated by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant consortium, and hosted by Purdue University and the University of Illinois through the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program. AquaNic is a member of the National Sea Grant College Program’s network of Aquaculture Information Services along with the DOC/NOAA Aquaculture Information Center, National Sea Grant Library, Delaware Aquaculture resource Center, and Maryland Sea Grant Program.

Aquaculture Online

Aquaculture Research Station-LSU Ag Center

Aquaculture Research Station-LSU Ag Center

Aquafeed Industry

Aquatic Network

Aquatic Network

Aquatic Nuisance Species Taskforce

Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Thesaurus

Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme
An international organization estalbished in 1991 to implement components of the Arctic Environmental Protection strategy (AEPS)

Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental research
Provides a lot of information on environment which can be downloaded.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation. Fisheries Working Group
http://www.apecsec.org.sg/loadall.htm?http://www.apecsec.org.sg/workgroup/fish.htmlFWG aims to promote the conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources, sustainable development of aquaculture and habitat preservation, development of solutions to common resource management problems, the enhancement of food safety and quality of fish and fisheries products, and sector-specific work relating to trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

Asia-Pacific Regional cooperation in Aquaculture of Groupers and Coral reef species
a web page for grouper and coral reef fish aquaculture.

Asian Aquatic Resources
This server provides information about aquaculture and aquatic resources in Asia and aims to promote exchange and cooperation between researchers, planners, and practitioners. The server hosts three collaborators that furnish information about their organization, publications, and databases and thematic sites which focus on timely aquatic issues (AARM, AAHRI, NACA). The site covers the following themses: Mangroves; Grouper Aquaculture; and Fish-Poil;try systems.

Association of Agricultural Research Institution in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA)

Bay of Bengal Programme (BOBP)
A regional United Nations multi-agency programme that tries to improve the conditions of Bay of Bengal

Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (Philippines)


Book Review: Guide to Fishing Gears in the Philippines

Dugan, Chito E., Alfredo L. Bernarte, Jr. and Cesar Allan C. Vera, Jr. Guide to Fishing Gears in the Philippines. Quezon City: Sentro Para sa Ikauunlad ng Katutubong Agham at Teknolohiya,Inc. c2003. v, various paginations.

In 1950, Agustin Umali published a classic book on fishing gears in the Philippines, Guide to the Classification of Fishing Gears in the Philippines. Research Report 17. United States Government Printing Office. 1950. Until now this book is still being used by students and faculty as a reference material.

In 1998, BFAR published another book on fishing gears in the Philippines, Handbook on Selected Philippine Fishing Gears and Methods.

And then in 2003, Dugan et al published this book under review.

This book as stated in the Introduction is "intended as a quick reference material for identifying gear type and not for gear construction. While it gives a rough estimate of the dimensions of the materials that are used on a particular gear type, it is only intended to provide a clearer picture of the gear. Detailed specifications on gear designs are therefore not incorporated in this book."

The book is divided into18 chapters.

The classifications and descriptions of each of the fishing gears used in the different part of the Philippines, particularly those gears commonly used by municipal fishers start on chapter 4.

About two-third of the book deals on hand instruments like snare and spear, traps, handlines, gill nets, trammel nets, lift nets, surrounding nets, seines, trawls and boat dredges, push nets, falling nets, tidal nets, and destructive and stupefying methods of catching which include electrofishing, blast fishing and poison.

Before each fishing gear and method is described, the authors provide general description of the group of fishing gears, followed by a specific write-up on each fishing gear. Like the snare, the authors first gives the local name of the gear (Panukot in Bulacan and Panundot/Ganso in Cavite), then followed by its variations, operation, socio-economic analysis, environmental importance, technological information like its volume of catch, and lastly information on management options.

An illustration in black and white of each of the gears is provided.

But aside from the descriptions given to each fishing gear, this book also provides other useful information.

While Chapter 17 deals on the existing Philippine policies on the fishing gears, and on the management of fishing gears, Chapter 18 provides gear nomenclature, glossary, research partners and the list of references.

Over-all, I can say that this book is a very informative reference material on fishing gears in the Philippines.

Its usefullness will outlive its binding and the paper it uses.

I certainly like its cover design: very invocative.

However, it does not provide an index, although its table of contents can provide sufficient information on what page a certain fishing gear is discussed.


Dr. T.V. R. Pillay Passes Away

I just read this sad news from Naga, WorldFish Center Newsletter, 28(1-2): 60, Jan-June 2005, p. 60.

Dr. T.V.R. Pillay, known as the Father of Modern Aquaculture Development in the World, and author of one of the most comprehensive and reliable books on modern aquaculture, (Aquaculture Principles and Practices. Fishing News, 1993, 575p.), died on February 9, 2005 at Bangalore, India after being in a coma for about three weeks.

Dr. Pilla has left some notable other books like Aquaculture and the Environment; Aquaculture Development: Progress and Prospects, and Planning of Aquaculture Development--an introductory guide.

He was a former Programme Director of the Aquaculture Development and Coordination Programme, FAO.

The report says that "He was a beneficiary to and mentor of innumerable fisheries and aquaculture scientists all over the the world."

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Book Review: A Landmark on Philippine Ichthyology


Melchor F. Cichon

Fishes/Prudencia V. Conlu.--Quezon City: Natural Resource Center, Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of the Philippines, c1986. xx, 493. (Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna, vol. xix) (Available at UPV-CFOS Library, Miag-ao, Iloilo, Philippines)

This book will definitely serve as a major reference text on Philippine fishes for decades to come. It is the first book on the subject written by a Filipino since 1937. It updates and expands the three most used references on Philippine fishes today: Edible Fishes of Manila, by Agustin F. Umali, 1937; Albert Herre, Checklist of Philippine Fishes, 1953; and Norbert Rau and Anke Rau,. Commercial Fishes of the Central Philippines (Bony Fishes), 1980.

Umali's work provides the scientific names, common names, description, biology, distribution and the literature sources. It has no illustrations. In Rau and Rau's work, the specimens were gathered from Cebu. It also provides the scientific names, common names and descriptions of Philippine fishes commonly seen in the markets in Cebu. Each species is illustrated. the scientific names do not bear dates.

Prof.Conlu's work, on the other hand, gives all the features provided by Umali, Herre and Rau and Rau, plus expanded details on the biology of the species presented. One more feature which is not found in any of the three references mentioned , is the ecological status of each species described and illustrated. The ecological status based on such categories as rare, vanishing, or not. Aside from that, Prof. Conlu's work includes the twenty species not included in Herre's work, bringing the present known Philippine fishes from 2,1175 to 2,202. It describes 427 species with 395 illustrations in black and white. The specimens were collected from various fish landings, fish markets, fishing village, and from various fishing operations in some fishing grounds of the Philippines. In short, the specimens came from the various parts of the Philippines. The total species described represents 20% families and 235 genera.

This review will not be complete of I don't present some of its shortcomings. And if the author will have a chance to revise this, I offer these unsolicited suggestions:

1. The note at the Index to Scientific Names be revised so that readers would not be confused whether the numbers in bold print refer to figure number or page number where the figure is found. As an information analyst, I thought that the numbers in bold print in the Index to Scientific Names really refer to the Figure Number. But I was wrong. The note says: "Numbers in the bold print refer to Figures, while the figures in italics denote Synonyms". A further checking on the index reveals that the bold numbers refer to the page where the figures are located.

2. This book is fully illustrated, yet the illustrator's name does not appear in any pages of this book. It is suggested that the illustrator of this book be acknowledged even if he has been commissioned to do those illustrations. He is still the rightful author of those ilustrations and he is entitled to an acknowledgment.

3. This book is full of information particularly on the biology and distribution of each species. but I did not see any footnotes. The three-page bibliography is very insufficient if not tiresome to a researcher who wants to know more about the fish particulalry when he has limited time to research. It is therefore suggested that footnotes or endnotes be used not only to facilitate the work of a researcher but also to give credit where credit is due.

4. The book presents 427 species, yet there are only 295 figures. Therefore there are 32 species which have no illustrations. It would be very helpful to researchers if these missing illustrations be supplied in the next edition.
These shortcomings are, however, very negligible when compared to the merits of this woprk. Fisheries students, researchers, scuba divers, policy and decision makers will find this work very valuable. It deserves a place in every fisheries library.

Monday, August 07, 2006


The Mouseion

The latest issue, Jan-Jun 2006, of The Mouseion, the official newsletter of the UPV Museum of Natural Sciences, Office of the Dean, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, has just come off the press.

Three significant news articles can be found in this issue: Janitor fish in the Agusan Marsh : a threat to freshwater biodiversity by Marianne Hubila and Ferenc Kis; Prof. Vicencio: a picture of a dedicated mentor by Sol Garibay, and Fossils, imprint of the past by Cornelio M. Selorio, Jr.

The first article warns the public on the great threat that the janitor fish (Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus) would do to the ecological balance of Agusan Marsh as they will compete for food for the native catfish, carps, mudfish, tarpons, mullets, tialpia, including bivalves and gastropods found in the marsh.

The second article gives a short profile of one of the best phycologists in the country today, the former professor of phycology of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UPV, Prof. Zosima T. Vicencio. One of her notable researches was "Algal Food Habits of the Milkfish." At 82, Prof. Vicencio still serves as consultant of PHIL-KOEI Interantional. Inc.

The third article provides an interesting find: there are fossils in Igang, Pototan, Iloilo, Philippines. Unfortunately, some of these fossils "have been used in building school fences, as filling materials in roads and buildings."

So unless the local and the national governments will do something about this, these imprints of the past will be gone forever.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


The Parable of the Missing Bag

While I was still working in one of the university libraries in Metro Manila, my co-workers and I had heard complaints from students that their bags, or wallets got lost.

And they wondered who the culprit or culprits were.

Although our supervisors did not tell us to catch the culprit or culprits, Joe and I promised to do something about it.

One Saturday afternoon while we were doing our usual works at the readers services rooms, Joe told me to close the exit gate upon his instruction.

After one hour, Joe told me to close the exit gate because he believed the suspect had gotten inside the room, and has taken one of the bags placed by somebody on the reading table.

I noticed one girl carrying two bags.

So I immediately closed the gate.

I questioned her why she was carrying two bags. She said that one of the bags belonged to her friend and she was asked to carry it.

By then so many students could no longer get out of the library and so they gathered near the exit gate.

Not long after that a girl arrived.

She told me that her bag was missing. When she looked at the girl carrying two bags, she immediately recognized her missing bag.

"That's my bag!", she said.

I told her to prove her claim. She told me that her ID card was inside the bag.

So the bag was opened, and in a few seconds, she picked out her ID card from the said bag.

Now that we were sure that we caught the culprit, we phoned the university police for assistance.

And in a few minutes, they came.

They brought the culprit to their headquarter for investigation.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


UPV Journal of Natural Sciences, vol 6(1-2) Sept 2001

The following are the complete articles in the latest issue of UPV Journal of Natural Sciences, September 2001. The material is available at the UPV-CFOS Library, Miag-ao, Iloilo, Philippines


Revision of research cooperation toward sustainable fishing. T. Matsuoka...............1-14
Measurement of a model lift-net. M. Ishizaki, R. P. Babaran, and T. Nishi................15-23
Effects of current direction on an approaching process to a baited fish pot for mantis shrimp, Oratosquilla oratoria. Y. Yamaguchi and I. Kawazu........24-33
An analysis of the technical factors affecting gillnet fisheries in Muara Angle, a fish landing site in North Jakarta. J. Haluan.......................34-38
Study on juvenile and trash excluder devices (JTEDS) in Brunei waters. B. Chokesanguan, S. Ananpongsuk, S. Shriraksophon, and I. A. Hamid..........39-45
Resistance characteristics of Philippine outrigger fishing crafts. G. D. Aguilar, R. Shigehiro, and T. Kuroda.........46-54
Turning performance of outrigger craft in the Philippines. R. Shigehiro, G. D. Aguilar, and T. Kuroda.........55-68
Analysis of the movement of trolling depressors with different sizes. K. Ebata, S. Fuwa, s. Fujita, K. Matsumura, and M. Murata........69-76
Body girth of fish caught by gillnets of different twine thickness. K. Yokota, T. Tokai, and F. Hu..........77-85
Effects of lunar cycle on set-net catch. R. P. Babaran and T. Yamane.........86-91
Experimental study on the seakeeping performance of traditional outrigger craft. T. Kuroda, T. Katayama, R. Shigehiro, and G. D. Aguilar.........92-105
The gustatory response of the Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to saponin determined electrophysiologically. G. Kawamura, S. Y. Yacoob, and K. Anraku..........106-110
Electrophysiological taste responses of fishes: an indicator of environmental quality. S. Y. Yacoob, K. Anraku, T. Matsuoka, and M. Vasquez-Anchdale.......111-120
Crab trap fisheries: capture process and an attempt on bait improvement. K. Anraku, M. Valdez-Archdale, R. Espinosa, and B. Mendez............121-129
A diffusion-advection model for the propagation of odor plumes from stationary baits. R. Espinosa and K. Anraku........130-145
The biology of skipjack, Katsuwonus pelamis, and the yellowfin, Thunnus albacares, collected from the landing sites in Northwestern coast of Luzon. J. Manhot.......146-156
Using acceletation data logger for estimating activities of free-ranging fish. R. Kawabe, K. Nashimoto, T. Hirashita, T. Kawano, and Y. Naito..........157-170
Visual activiity and spectral sensivity of Pacific ribbed sculpin, Pleurogammus azonus. S. Torishawa, K. Nashimoto, T. Hiraishi, and K. Yamamoto........171-178
The diversity of catch between set-net (fish corral) and small type stationary trap net. T. Yamane and R. P. Babaran.........179-183
Methods of assessing impacts of fisheries on coral reefs in the Philippines. J. Ingles, J. Flores, and T. Matsuoka...........184-195
Spatial distribution and habitat selection of setnet-caught greasyback shrimp (Metapenaeus ensis) and banana prawn (Penaeus merguiensis) in Batan Bay estuary, Philippines. Anasco and R. P. Babaran...........196-217
Profile and prospects of Legaspi City and Sto. Domingo (Albay) coastal fisheries. N. Pelea and G. Brizuela..........218-227
Evaluation of the major tuna fisheries along the northwestern coast of Luzon, Philippines. V. Prado.............228-238
Community structure of Talangnan mangrove forest, Cauayan, Negros Occidental. J. Onate-Pacalioga........239-248
Socioeconomic analysis of the marine fishing industry in Ilocos Norte, Philippines. F. Asia, E. Pascua, and V. Grande........249-263

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Roundscad, The Philippine Fish Topnotcher
Melchor F. Cichon

In 1950, roundscad was not even listed among the top ten commercial fisheries production by major fish species in the Philippines.

But the following year, roundscad or galonggong (Decapterus sp.) became the most productive fish in the country.

And it has been on top for 38 times since then.

Also, it has been ranked 6 times as a second placer, and once on rank 3 since 1950 to 1997.

It 1997, the total commercial production of roundscad was 196,588 metric tons or about 22.2 % of the total commercial fish production, the highest among the top ten fisheries production in the country.

In the same year, the total marine municipal production of roundscad reached 32,290 metric tons (about 4.2% of the total municipal production) and it ranked number 7.

No other Philippine fishes have come closed to roundscad production.

Tuna and tuna like species landed five times in Rank 1, and once in Rank 2.

Slipmouth landed only four times in Rank 1 from 1950 to 1997, and 22 times as Rank 2, and three times in Rank 3. (see Fig. 1)

No other fishes have ranked first since 1950 to 1997.

Fig. 1 (Number of Rankings of Top Three Most Productive Fishes in the Philippines, 1950-1997)

.Species .......Rank and Frequency
......First... Second... Third
Roundscad ....38 ..6 ..1
Tuna & tuna like species.. 5 .1... 0
Slipmouth ...4 ...22... 3
Sardines ....0 ...11... 15

Galonggong has different names in other parts of the country. Here are some of them

Local Name Province
Alumahan .... Tawi-Tawi
Barranti ....... Apari
Borot ...........Cagayan de Oro City
Budboron ....Cebu
Malatindok ... Tacloban
Malimno ......Catbalogan, Samar
Marot or Tamodios.... Iloilo
Sibubog .......Bicol
Tayang (malaki) ....Cotabato City
Tulay - ........Jolo, Sulu (Taosug)

Roundscads are generally caught in the West Sulu Sea which contribute about 37 percent of the total commercial catch . Other fishing areas that have abundant roundscads are the following: Visayan Sea, South Sulu Sea, Moro Gulf, and East Sulu Sea.

Roundscads have also been caught at the Samar Sea, Batangas Coast, South Sulu Sea and Lamon Bay.

Here are the fishing grounds for roundscads (production in mt) , 1991-1992

Fishing Grounds ....Year and Production (mt)


West Sulu Sea.... 2,250 ....2,712
South Sulu Sea...54,638 ...76,408
Visayan Sea...... 34,7665 .31,529
Moro Gulf........ 16,535 ....36,990
Lamon Bay ......5,024 ......10,988
East Sulu Sea ...6,285 ......7,535
Cuyo Bay ........3,760 ......1,687
Tayabas Bay ...4,199 ......5,326
Batangas Coast ...808 .....942
Bohol Sea .......6,100 ......6,889
Others .........112,596 .....93,031

Total ........559,860..... 274,037

The major fishing gears used to catch roundscads are purse seine, bagnet and trawl.
Here is the average total production of roundscads by type of gears used, 1979-1987 (in mt)

Types of gears Quantity

Purse seine/ringnet ..85,305
Bagnet .......26,258
Trawl .........22,289
Gill net .......9,238
Hook and Line ....5,881
Round haul seine .1,562
Beach seine ........1,126
Fish coral ...........1,017
Long line ............1,047
Others ................1,845

Total ..............155,568

There are five species of roundscads in the Philippines. These are Decapterus macrosoma, D. maruadsi, D. macarellus, D. russelli and D. kurroides.

Because they are usually caught in depths between 40 m to 200 m., they are considered pelagic fishes. But they become demersal during their spawning season. And they avoid salinity of less than 30 ppt (part per thousand) and their distribution depends on the abundance of zooplanktons, small fishes and crustaceans.

Their spawning season is from December to March in the Palawan waters and December to April or May in the Manila Bay.

Below is the available statistics on roundscad production from 1950 to 2001.This was compiled by this writer from the Fisheries Statistics of the Philippines, and from the Philippine Fisheries Profile, both issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

It must be noted that the lowest production was in 1953 with a total commercial production of 7,248,129 kg or 248 mt., while its highest was in 2001 with a total production of 282,787 mt.
It must be noted too that the production of roundscad is fluctuating. This can be attributed to the use of modern and more sophisticated fishing gears and methods. The possibility of getting over-exploitation is great.

This was in fact already noted by Bimbao, Gomez and Ramos in 1991.

Let me quote their recommendations:

"Roundscad supply had been fluctuating and moving at a slower rate in the past 12 years. Strategies on increasing fish catch vis-à-vis efficient marketing system were among country’s development thrusts. In the case of roundscad, however, it was given attention by national policy makers only recently as manifested in the launching of "Operation Galunggong: Presyong Abot-kaya ng Mamamayan" on February 14, 1991 in selected markets in Metro Manila purposely to make it affordable to the consuming public.
"Due to the biological nature of roundscad which abound only on deeper waters, its supply comes mostly from commercial rather than the municipal sector. Therefore, government programs/projects which call for the introduction of modern fishing technologies, improved vessel operating technique, and promotion of more efficient fishing gears must be addressed to the former. It has been observed that most traditional fishing grounds for roundscad are heavily exploited and almost depleted as manifested in the declining roundscad catch. Thus, an extensive exploratory study to determine the productivity of the traditional as well as non-traditional fishing grounds vis-à-vis the prevailing monsoon must be conducted. Moreover, a comprehensive resource assessment project should be implemented to identify and determine the most productive and profitable fishing grounds. An overly fished area can then be given a chance to recover and restore its natural productivity. Exploitation of non-traditional fishing rounds as well as restoration of overfished areas can be enhanced through intensive information campaign and technology."

Production of Roundscad by Fishery Sector, 1950-2001/
Note: from 1950-1972 in kg; from 1973-2001 in mt

Year ...Production Total ...Commercial... Municipal
1950 ....317,910 ......NA* ......317,910
1951 ....4,644,210 ...NA ........4,644,210
1952 ....9,693,096 ...NA.........9,693,096
1953 ...7,248,129 .....NA .......7,248,129
1954 ...21,153,660 ...NA .......21,153,660
1955 ...27,539,257 ...NA .......27,539,257
1956 ..18,884,655 ...NA ........18,884,655
1957 ..19,322,468 ....NA .......19,322,468
1958 ..21,050,325 ...NA ........21,050,325
1959 ..21,904,330 ...NA ........21,904,330
1960 ..23,783,450 ....NA........23,783,450
1961 ..252,58050 ....NA ........25,258,050
1962 ..39,125,400 ...NA ........39,125,400
1963 ..58,526,630 ...NA ......58,526,630
1964 ..80,293,760 ...NA ......80,293,760
1965 ..99,939,440 ...NA ......99,939,440
1966 ..96,088,640 ...NA ......96,088,640
1967 ..100,327,360 ...NA ....100,327,360
1968 ..87,521,240 ....NA .....87,521,240
1969 ..109,728,640 ..NA ....109,728,640
1970 ..150,713,000 ..NA ....150,713,000
1971 ..142,920,520 ..NA ....142,920,520
1972 ..150,355,750 ...NA ...150,355,750
1973 ..170,014 ...........NA ..170,014
1974 ..168,010 ...........NA ..168,010
1975 ..157,969 ..........NA ....157,969
1976 ..184,998 ........39,666..224,664
1977 ..156,631 .......26,067..182,698
1978 ..115,030 ........27,583.142,613
1979 ..114,868 ........31,338.146,206
1980 ..111,316 ..........20,813..132,129
1981 ..120,857 .........29,090...149,947
1982 ..150,266 .........32,987 ...183,253
1983 ..131,261 .........33,762 ...165,023
1984 ..105,013 ........26,570 ....131,583
1985 ..106,262 .........25,446 ...131,708
1986 ..151,298 .........24,557 ...175,855
1987 ..154,059 .........30,352 ...184,411
1988 ..149,213 .........29,474 ...178,687
1989 ..179,873 ..........29,948...209,821
1990 ..220,379 .........28,921 ...249,300
1991 ..247,330 .........NA .......247,330
1992 ..246,960 .........NA .......246,960
1993 ..243,565 .........26,545 ..270,110
1994 ..210,276 ..........22,901..233,177
1995 ..235,813 .........23,955 ..259,768
1996 ..200,418 ........23,506... 223,924
1997 ..196,588 .........32,290.. 228,878
1998 ..216,821 .........28,322.. 245,143
1999 ..219,519 ........28,943 ...248,462
2000 ..225,861 .........30,115 ..255,976
2001 .250,679 .........32,108 . .282,787

Note: *NA No record available

Bimbao, Gaspar D., Ma. Carol E. Gomez, and Erlinda M. Ramos. 1991. Trends and prospects of roundscad in the Philippines. Fishery statistics bulletin, vol. 1, No. 8, May 1991. 20p. (mimeo)

Calvelo, Rosita R. 1997. Review of the Philippine small pelagic resources and their fisheries, pp.259-299. In: M. Devaraj and P. Martosubroto, eds. 1997. Small pelagic resources and their fisheries in the Asia-Pacific Region. Proceedings of the APFIC Working Party on Marine fisheries. First Session, 13-16 May 1997, Bangkok, Thailand. RAP Publication 1997/31, 445p.

Fisheries Statistics of the Philippines. Manila, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Ganaden, S. R. and F. Lavapie-Gonzales. 1999. Common and local names of marine fishes of the Philippines. Metro Manila, Fisheries Resources Evaluation and Environmental Services divisison. Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. 385p.

Philippine Fisheries Profile. Metro Manila: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Visayan Sea, the Haven for Fishes

Melchor F. Cichon
formerly posted in http://www.goodnewsphilippines.com
May 1, 2005

The Visayan Sea is one of the most productive fishing grounds in the Philippines.

It is enclosed by the island-provinces of Cebu, Masbate, Iloilo and Negros Occidental and it is located between 11 and 12 degrees North latitude and 123 and 124 degrees East longitude. It is approximately 10,000 square kilometers wide.

A large amount of fishes and other fishery products are caught in this area like: barracudas, big-eyed scad, bogies, dolphin fishes, eels, flatfishes, frigate tuna, gizzard shads (kabasi), goatfishes, groupers, lizard fishes, marlin, milkfish, moonfish, moray, rays, round herring, roundscad, sailfish, sea bass, sea catfishes, shark, siganids, skipjack, slipmouths, snapper (maya-maya), Spanish mackerels, surgeon fish, sword fish, and threadfin breams (bisugo).

The Visayan sea is also abundant of the following: abalones, clams, cockles, crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, prawns, scallops, seaweeds.shells,.shrimps, sponges, squids, turtles,

Based on fisheries statistics available at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Library, Miag-ao, Iloilo, this fishing ground has always been among the top three of the more than 50 commercial fishing grounds in the country.

Its lowest commercial production was in 1953 with a total production of 17,673,216 kgs (5.78% of the Philippine total fish production), while its highest was in 1979 with 197,874,000 kgs.

However, when it is referred to the Visayan sea highest total fisheries production, its peak was in 1992 with a total fish production of 257,839,000 kgs.

It is unfortunate however that this fishing ground has decreased its production through the years affecting so many fishermen around this area.

In the last four years, from 1992 to 1995, the Visayan sea total fisheries production went down from 257,839 metric tons to 208,883 MT.

In Panay alone more than 6,000 fishermen depend on the Visayan Sea’s resources.

Its decline started in 1971 just before the declaration of martial law with a commercial total production of 72,477,320 kilograms, from 112,735,480 kgs. in 1969 and 89,992,640 kgs. in 1970.

This decrease was noticeable despite the fact that at that time (1970: 2,061) the total number of powered fishing vessels in the Philippines was almost the same as in the previous years (1965-1969).

In 1965 for example, the total powered fishing vessel in the country was 2,066 while in 1971, there were 2,142.
But it recovered in 1992 with a total production of 257,839,000 kilograms but then again it went down to 208,883,000 kilograms in 1995.

This shows that this particular fishing ground is depleting perhaps due to over-fishing.

Since BFAR has not issued its latest figures on the production of our fishing grounds since 1995, we can not see whether the move to revitalize this area has been effective.

In Iloilo, a group of municipal coastal communities has formed a community-based alliance called the Northern Iloilo Alliance for Coastal Development to prevent illegal fishing.

This must have been the concrete result of the Visayan Sea Coastal and Fisheries Resources Management Project (VisSea) which was developed in 1998.

This integrated coastal resource management project aims to have sustainable resource management and utilization and, ultimately, to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the participating communities along the Visayan sea.

Below is the run-down of the production of this fishing ground from 1953 to 1995. It is unfortunate that this writer was not able to get the figures for the year 1957, and for the years after 1995.

Commercial Fish Production of the Visayan Sea, 1953-1995

Compiled by

Melchor F. Cichon, 2005

Note: Please note that the following figures include only the Commercial Production of the Visayan Sea because the municipal productions are not included in the Fisheries Statistics of the Philippines from 1953 to 1979, 1988-1991. It was only in 1992 that the municipal fisheries production was again reported.

Year... Visayan Sea (in kg)... Philippines (in kg)
1953... 17,673,216... 305,626,141
1954... 27,225,157... 343,624,987
1955... 25,086,591... 362,927,057
1956... 28,270,623... 393,648,000
1957... not available... 387,170,000
1958... 29,503,014... 426,666,000
1959... 28,859,710... 436,481,000
1960... 25,977,720... 444,622,000
1961... 31,220,390... 454,899,000
1962... 32,530,320... 483,948,000
1963... 43,560,840... 547,354,000
1964... 53,926,880... 603,506,000
1965... 70,148,280... 667,202,000
1966... 85,812,320... 705,278,000
1967... 118,265,160... 746,063,000
1968... 124,163,520... 937,684,000
1969... 112,735,480... 940,792,000
1970... 89,992,640... 988,884,000
1971... 72,477,320... 1,023,095,000
1972... 81,115,190... 1,122,410,000
1973... 169,393,470... 1,204,837,000
1974... 161,448,840... 1,268,368,000
1975... 181,030,900... 1,336,803,000
1976... 151,237,120... 1,393,483,000
1977... 175,080,000... 1,508,855,000
1978... 185,358,000... 1,580,404,000
1979... 197,874,000... 1,581,303,000
1980... 135,226,000... 1,672,254,000
1981... 125,559,000... 1,772,897,000
1982... 121,894,000... 1,896,983,000
1983... 130,528,000... 2,110,230,000
1984... 141,991,000... 2,080,439,000
1985... not available... 2,052,111,000
1986... 126,181,000... 2,089,484,000
1987... 135,137,000... 2,213,040,000
1988... 137,196,000... 2,269,744,000
1989... 137,196,000... 2,371,109,000
1990... 150,854,000... 2,503,546,000
1991... 159,657,000... 2,598,981,000
1992... 165,256,000... 2,625,607,000
1993... 131,709,000... 2,631,945,000
1994... 134,537,000... 2,720,989,000
1995... 120,267,000... 2,785,085,000

Sources: Fisheries Statistics of the Philippines. Manila: BFAR.
Hermes, R. et al. 2004. Overexploitation in the Visayan Sea: Designing a project solution, p. 312-317. In DA-BFR (Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources). In Turbulent seas: The status of Philippine marine fisheries. Coastal Resource Management Project, Cebu City, Philippines. 378p.
Philippine Fisheries Profile. Manila: BFAR.
"Philippine Visayan Sea Close to Depletion",The Catch from News Reports from Around the World. STREAM Media Monitoring Report, June 2004, p.6


Sea Cucumber, The Gensing of the Sea

Melchor F. Cichon
May 12, 2005

The Philippines is so lucky that it has a lot of natural resources, especially marine resources.
One of these resources is the sea cucumber.
What is a sea cucumber? Definitely, it is not a plant.
It is a sea-bottom dwelling marine invertebrate that has been a favorite dish among the Chinese and the Japanese because of its nutritional and medicinal value.
Among the Filipinos, sea cucumber is just another underutilized resource.
But it can be a source of income, especially if one is staying near the shore.
Based on statistics, the sea cucumbers that are being produced in the Philippines come from different parts of the country.
As of 1984 (that is the latest figure that this writer could get), the top ten sea cucumber producing provinces are as follows:

Province Quantity (in kilograms)

Palawan..... 436,630
Lanao del Norte..... 41,426
Albay..... 19,381
Tawi-Tawi .....14,085
Zamboanga del Sur..... 10,750
Negros Occidental..... 8,000
Aklan .....7,960
Camarines Norte..... 6,850
Marinduque..... 6,292
Zamboanga del Norte..... 3,600

On the national scale, the country is not really producing so much sea cucumber. (see the statistics below)
Studies have shown that sea cucumbers are medicinal.
According to Dr. Subhuti Dharmananda, Director , Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon:, sea cucumber “serves as a rich source of mucopolysaccharides, mainly chondroitin sulfate, which is well-known for its ability to reduce arthritis pain, especially that of osteoarthritis. As little as 3 grams per day of the dried sea cucumber has been helpful in significantly reducing arthralgia. Chondroitin's action is similar to that of glucosamine sulfate, the main building block of chondroitin.”
He further claims that sea cucumber has anticancer properties. He said that the saponins in sea cucumber have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
“In addition,” he said, “the sea cucumber oil contains two anti-inflammatory fractions. One fraction has fatty acids characteristic of those found in fish; they can be used as a substitute for fish oil in reducing inflammatory byproducts of fat metabolism, and to nourish the brain and heart. The main compounds of interest in fish oil are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid also found in sea cucumber, and DHA (docosahaenoic acid), unique to fish:”
But it is advisable to ask your doctor in case you will take sea cucumber’s capsules as a medicine.
Because of its nutritional and medicinal reasons, the demand for sea cucumber can be great.
But can the Philippines supply this demand?
Based on available statistics, the Philippines does not produce so much sea cucumber, although there is a great potential that our country can produce more.
One such area is Maqueda Bay, Samar.
And one of the most sought after species of sea cucumber from this area is Holothuria scabra
Because of its dollar earning potential, our fisheries scientists should culture this fishery resource. At the same time, the law enforcers should regulate the harvesting of this animal to further prevent its overexploitation.
Below is the production statistics of sea cucumber in the Philippines since 1949-1997.
It should be noted that the production of sea cucumber in the Philippines is fluctuating.
From 1949 up to 1984, sea cucumber production in the country did not reach a million kilogram mark.
But effective 1985, that figure was reached, only to go down from 3,258,000 kilograms in 1985 to 1,191,000 kilograms in 1997.
But could have been the reason for this downfall?
Since, there is no study to this effect, we can only surmise.
There must have been overexploitation of sea cucumber in the country and the government has no specific program to rehabilitate this species.

Sea Cucumber Production in the Philippines, 1957-1997
Compiled by Melchor F. Cichon

Year Production (in Kg) Value (in PhP)
1949 .....3211..... 642
1950..... 2613..... 523
1951..... 4446..... 889
1952..... 40992.... 818
1953..... 3460..... 808
1954..... 63070... 6627
1955..... 9366..... 2396
1956.... .3006..... 704
1957..... 7933..... 3684
1958..... 5355.... 1820
1959.....1953..... 957
1960.... 10140... 3336
1961.... 17302... 5062
1962.... 10668... 4001
1963.... 7235.... 1997
1964.... 9714... 10565
1965... 6145.... 4596
1966... 402..... 302
1967... 8217... 35943
1968...5247... 3855
1969.. 3248 ...2347
1970.. 5450 ...1254
1971 ..75618.. 18410
1972.. 5600... 15125
1973.. 36188.. 23635
1974.. 110... 390
1975 ..44763.. 135163
1976.. 79182.. 194112
1977.. 34431.. 110288
1978.. 226622 ..479338
1979.. 40646 ..192336
1980 ..32944.. 96366
1981 ..32328 ..236548
1982.. 90725 ..366627
1983.. 255917 ..2115810
1984.. 562379 ..4356753
1985.. 3258000 ..No record
1986.. 3367000.. No record
1987.. 3612000.. 1580*
1988.. 3193000.. 1501
1989.. 3534000.. 1662
1990... 4023000.. 2080
1991... 3535000 ..1909
1992... 3679000 ..2181
1993... 3109000 ..No record
1994... 1497000.. No record
1995... 2062000.. 602
1996... 2123000.. 619
1997... 1191000.. 659

* Starting here in US$1000

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