Manila Journal of Science 10 (2017), pp. 101-114

Status of Coral Communities and Reef-Associated Fish and Invertebrates in Batangas and Northern Palawan

Abstract

The present study shows the status of certain reefs of Batangas and northern Palawan using data gathered with volunteers, community members, local governments, and civil society groups utilizing Reef Check® methods. Both provinces have mean densities of less than 1 per 100 m2 for most of the fish and invertebrate indicators—signifying that they are overfished. Batangas is an urbanized province with an average hard coral cover of 40% (n = 22 sites from three towns and one city). Northern Palawan reef assemblages were generally distant from centers of population and have a higher average hard coral cover of 53% (n = 29 sites from five towns). According to Gomez et al.’s (1981) categories based on live coral cover, the reefs of northern Palawan are in “good” health, while those in Batangas are said to be “fair.” Conversely, in terms of the Coral Reef Health Index (CRHI), the coral reef assemblages of Batangas are in “good” health (CRHI = 10), while those in northern Palawan are in “poor” health (CRHI = 8)—despite the latter’s higher coral cover. The difference between the overall health of the provinces’ coral reef assemblages seems to be attributable to the biases of the indices used. Overfishing, overexploitation, siltation, and destructive fishing methods remain to be the most prevalent anthropogenic disturbances acting on the reefs for both provinces.

 

Manila Journal Of Science 10 (2017), Pp 101-114 (1.1 MiB)