Status of sea cucumber fishery and populations across sites with different levels of management in Palawan, Philippines
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This study was conducted to investigate the sea cucumber fishery and compare populations between exploited and unexploited sites. Three islands were selected, the Arrecife Island as the unexploited site and the Johnson and Green Islands representing the exploited sites. In each site, sea cucumber species richness, diversity and densities were assessed by laying as much as 15 transects (50 m × 5 m) per habitat in each island. Differences in species richness, diversity and relative densities across sites and habitats were tested using a Two-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Tukey test for post hoc comparisons. An interview with gatherers, key informants and focus group discussions were also conducted to gather information on the sea cucumber fishery and its management. Results showed that the unexploited site had a higher species richness (14 vs. 7 and 7). Relative density of species was also higher in the unexploited site at 1245 ind ha-1 while it was only 78 and 39 ind ha-1 in exploited sites (p < 0.05). Interviews and a focus group discussion revealed that national regulations on permit system and size limits were not enforced at the local level and that gatherers had low levels of awareness regarding regulations on sea cucumber harvest. Current management measures appear to be ineffective and insufficient, leaving the sea cucumbers in areas open to exploitation at risk of depletion. Given that sea cucumbers provide substantial income to local communities, the depletion of this resource could compromise the livelihood of people in island communities that rely heavily on marine resources for living. Thus, this study highlights the need to review national policies on sea cucumber fishery and place the management at the local level.
CitationJontila, J. B. S., Monteclaro, H. M., Quinitio, G. F., Santander-de Leon, S. M., & Altamirano, J. P. (2018). Status of sea cucumber fishery and populations across sites with different levels of management in Palawan, Philippines.
This study was jointly funded by the Department of Science and Technology- Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI), the University of the Philippines Visayas and the Western Philippines University. The support and cooperation of the Municipality of Roxas, Palawan, the management of Arrecife Island especially Ms. Glesselle T. Batin, and the sea cucumber gatherers in Green and Johnson Islands are greatly appreciated.
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Conference paperPA Alpasan & RA Billones - In MRR Romana-Eguia, FD Parado-Estepa, ND Salayo & MJH Lebata-Ramos (Eds.), Resource Enhancement and Sustainable Aquaculture Practices in Southeast Asia: Challenges in Responsible Production … International Workshop on Resource Enhancement and Sustainable Aquaculture Practices in Southeast Asia 2014 (RESA), 2015 - Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development CenterA resource assessment of sea cucumber was conducted in six out of eight coastal towns in northern Iloilo, a fisheries rich area facing the Visayan Sea in the central Philippines. A yearlong assessment was conducted in 2012. Fishery dependent survey was done with the use of survey questionnaire translated into dialect. Six trained enumerators administered the questionnaires to 114 gatherers and 18 local traders. Fishery independent survey involving Belt Transect Method (BTM) for intertidal areas and Timed-Search Method (TSM) for subtidal areas were conducted in 21 GPS (Global Positioning System)-referenced sampling stations. Sample specimens were also collected and prepared for taxonomic identification. External morphology, internal structures (dissected samples) and spicule analysis were used in the identification. Fishery dependent survey showed that gleaning (40%) is the most dominant extraction method used. Various methods were also employed including the dangerous compressor diving and the destructive karas, a method using a rake-like device to scrape the sea bed. In terms of volume, the most heavily exploited sea cucumber belongs to the Stichopus groups. The trade of sea cucumber is dominated by island-based traders. Almost half of the traders are women, signifying that trading is a woman's domain as well. Derived monthly income from sea cucumber trade ranges from PhP 2,000-3,000 for gatherers and PhP 2,000-5,000 for the traders. Fishery independent survey resulted in the identification of six sea cucumber genera (Bohadschia, Holothuria, Paracaudina, Pseudocholochirus and Stichopus). Of the 32 species found belonging to the six genera, only 16 were identified up to the species level. Samples of unidentified specimen were sent to the University of the Philippines - Marine Science Institute (UP MSI) laboratory for molecular taxonomic identification. In terms of species count, the most dominant genera is the Holothuria with nine identified and seven unidentified species. H. impatiens is also the most dominant sea cucumber found in the area. Further, the recorded catch per unit effort (CPUE) for fishery-independent survey is 3-4 pcs/diver/hr. The resource assessment showed that the trade of sea cucumber is dictated by economic value rather than by ecological abundance. While the scale and extent of sea cucumber fishery in northern Iloilo is small-scale and island based, the study highlights the need for trade regulation and stock enhancement of heavily exploited species as extraction affects the ecological distribution of sea cucumber stocks in the area.
Conference paperMJH Lebata-Ramos, EF Doyola-Solis, R Sibonga, J Sumbing, JB Abroguena, A Santillan & M Dimzon - In MRR Romana-Eguia, FD Parado-Estepa, ND Salayo & MJH Lebata-Ramos (Eds.), Resource Enhancement and Sustainable Aquaculture Practices in Southeast Asia: Challenges in Responsible Production … International Workshop on Resource Enhancement and Sustainable Aquaculture Practices in Southeast Asia 2014 (RESA), 2015 - Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development CenterThe Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC/AQD) started its Stock Enhancement Program more than a decade ago with the first stock enhancement initiative on the mud crab Scylla spp. funded by the European Commission. This was followed by another stock enhancement program in 2005 supported by the Government of Japan Trust Fund. In preparation for its implementation, a Regional Technical Consultation on Stock Enhancement of Species Under International Concern was convened in Iloilo City, Philippines in July 2005 to identify species for stock enhancement. During the meeting, seahorses Hippocampus spp., giant clam Tridacna gigas, abalone Haliotis asinina, and sea cucumbers Holothuria spp. were among the priority species for stock enhancement work. Stock enhancement, restocking and ranching are management approaches involving the release of wild or hatchery-bred organisms to enhance, conserve or restore fisheries. This paper reports SEAFDEC/AQD release activities and some of the release strategies that have been established for mud crabs, giant clams and abalone.
BrochureSoutheast Asian Fisheries Development Center, Aquaculture Department - 2018 - Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development CenterContains information on the hatchery and nursery culture of the sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra.