Tuesday, September 12, 2006

 

Guimaras Strait: Focusing on Fish Production

By Melchor F. Cichon
September 13, 2006

The oil spill in Guimaras Province has been the talk of the town since the oil spill tragedy on August 11, 2006.

And people all over the world have been following this.

So what is the big deal about this incidence particularly to Filipinos?

As of September 9, 2006, according to the Ligtas Guimaras group, of the four municipalities of Guimaras, only the municipality of Buenavista has not been affected by the oil spill. Of the 40 barangays of Guimaras, 26 have been affected that also include 4,533 families and 22,665 persons.

Let us also focus on the fish production of Guimaras Strait.

Guimaras Strait is located between the provinces of Guimaras and Negros Occidental, and one of the most productive fishing grounds in the Philippines.

How this oil spill will affect the fish production of this fishing ground, we cannot at the moment say anything, except to pray that the damage will not be tremendous. For sure, some of the foods of fishes found in this fishing grounds like planktons will be killed by the toxin found in oil slick. With less food would mean less fishes that will strive in the area.

If we look at the productions of Guimaras Strait since 1953 (that is the oldest record this writer could get) up to 2000, we can say that Guimaras strait has been producing tons of fishes. The online news report in the BAR Chronicle vol. 5, no. 4, April 1-30, 2004) states that the average total annual fish production of Guimaras is 50, 000 metric tons.

Here is the part of that news item:

"The study (three-year project entitled, Ocean Color for Sustainable Fisheries (OCSF) funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAR ) ) also identified the most productive fishing grounds that have an average of annual fisheries production of 50,000 metric tons and above. These are the: Moro Gulf, East Sulu Sea, Visayan Sea, South Sulu Sea, Visayan Sea, Bohol Sea, and Guimaras Strait. These areas contribute to one-half of the total annual fish production in the country. " (The title of the study supplied)
For a clearer view of the annual fish production of Guimaras Strait from 1953 to 2000, I patiently copied the commercial annual fish production of Guimaras Strait from the Philippine Fisheries Statistics and the Philippine Fisheries Profile since 1953 to 2000. This is what I got:

Year……Production (in kg)

1953…4,336,488
1954…4,781,920
1955…6,800,961
1956…6,800,961
1957…Not available
1958…7,010,646
1959…5,778,960
1960…5,785,110
1961…5,691,780
1962…4,896,300
1963…5,686,020
1964…10,853,000
1965…12,075,400
1966…9,853,720
1967…13,055,560
1968…10,856,320
1969…1,012,040
1970…2,248,960
1971…3,236,120
1972…4,513,480
1973…3,843,570
1974…2,743,130
1975…6,729,740
1976…5,607,290
1977…8,201,000
1978…10,215,000
1979…9,943,000
1980…6,137,000
1981…5,618,000
1982…12,514,000
1983…5,441,000
1984…5,586,000
1985…Not available
1986…6,969,000
1987…6,588,000
1988…uses the 1987 data
1989…12,547,000 (estimate)
1990…13,796,000
1991…3,782,000
1992…15,144,000
1993…29,687,00
1994…30,209,000
1995…24,163,000
1996-2000…use the 1995 data

What are the fishes found in Guimaras Strait?

Based on the Fisheries Statistics issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, these are some of the commercial fishes and other aquatic resources in this fishing ground:

Barracuda,Cavalla,Clams,Cockles,Crevalle,Dolphin fish,Flounders, Flying fish,Fusilies,Glassfish, Goatfish,Goby,
Grouper,Jacks,Jelly fish, Lizard fish, Marine turtle,Milkffish,Mojarra, Moonfish, Moray, Mullets, Mussels, Scallops, Oysters, Perchlet, Scads, Sea bass, Sea catfish, Sea cucumber, Sea perches, Sea urchins, Seaweeds, Shads,Sickle fish, Siganids, Sillago, Slipmouth, Snappers, Spade fish, Sponges, Surgeon fish, Threadfin, Wrasses, and other aquatic plants.

Source:
Philippine Fisheries Statistics, and Philippine Fisheries Profile, from 1953 to 2000.
http://www.bar.gov.ph/barchronicle/2004/apr04_1-30_gisthefuture.asp

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