|Title||Summary Field Report: Saving Philippine Reefs: Coral Reef Monitoring Expedition to Siquijor Province, Philippines, March 21 – 29, 2009|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||White A, Diaz R, Tesch S, White E, Martinez R|
|Keywords||coral reefs, Philippines, Siquijor|
The annual Saving Philippine Reefs Expedition assessed the condition of the coral reefs in Siquijor Island Province and Apo Island, Negros Oriental, in March 2009. Surveys
Fish abundances for 2009, when compared between years within each site were significantly higher in two sites, namely Lower Cabancalan and Apo Island sanctuaries. The other sites showed similar fish abundance compared to the last survey.
The status of coral reefs of Siquijor Island has improved since 1980 when surveys were first conducted in the Island. Such improvement can be attributed to the implementation of MPAs, and the commencement of coastal resource management programs within each municipality and at the provincial level. The survey in 2009 indicates that the coral reefs in Siquijor are stable and improving in several sites in relation to the degree of protection and management in individual MPAs. But, fish abundances are still low by Philippine coral reef standards due to continued and in some cases increased fishing pressure near MPAs. In addition, commercial scale fishing occurs within the 15 km limits of the island which draws down the biomass of fish in nearshore waters.
A few key recommendations for improved habitat conservation and management of MPAs on Siquijor Island include the need to:
•Establish more and larger MPAs.
Summary Field Report: Saving Philippine Reefs: Coral Reef Monitoring Expedition to Siquijor Province, Philippines, March 21 – 29, 2009