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PARTICIPATORY monitoring of dulong and associated fisheries in San Juan, Batangas

SUB-PROJECT PROPOSAL FOR CTI-CTSP

PREPARED BY:
ROLLAN C. GERONIMO
MARINE POLICY SPECIALIST

DOCUMENT VER. 1.0
21 JANUARY 2010

DULONG AND ASSOCIATED FISHERIES MONITORING

SUB-PROJECT PROPOSAL

BACKGROUND

The Coral Triangle (CT) of the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Malaysia, and the Philippines (the CT6) is the epicenter of marine diversity on the planet with over 500 species of reef building corals and 3,000 species of fish. It produces biological resources that sustain the lives of more than 120 million people in the region and benefit millions more worldwide. Yet the marine and coastal natural resources of the Coral Triangle and the many goods and services they provide are at immediate risk from a range of factors, including over-fishing and unsustainable fishing methods, land-based sources of pollution, and climate change. These factors adversely impact food security, employment opportunities, and standards of living for people who depend on fish and other marine resources for their livelihoods.

The six Coral Triangle countries have since held a series of Country Coordinating Committee (CCC) meetings to establish the scope and priorities for this monumental effort. The five conservation goals laid out in the CTI Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) and the related National Plans of Action (NPOA), which present clear goals, targets, and prioritized activities necessary to achieve local, national and Regional outcomes within 10 to 15 years, are as follows:

1. Priority Seascapes Designated and Effectively Managed
2. Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) and Other Marine Resources Fully Applied
3. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) Established and Effectively Managed
4. Climate Change Adaptation Measures Achieved
5. Threatened Species Status Improving

In the Verde Island Passage, the CTI-Coral Triangle Support Partnership (CTSP) will follow through investments made on the dulong fishery. Dulong is a collective term for a group of small pelagic fish that attains maturity at very small sizes. Because of this peculiar characteristic, the law allows exploitation of dulong through use of seines and push nets. However, recent studies reveal that in some parts of the VIP, dulong fishers are actually catching mostly postlarvae and juvenile stages of engraulidae (dilis) and clupeidae (tamban)[1]. Such fishing practice will eventually result in growth overfishing of these species especially if fishing pressure remains high during spawning season.

For this year, CTSP will disseminate the findings of a dulong fry assessment study through the conduct of public consultations, village level discussions, and special meetings with LGU officials in order to agree on appropriate spatial or temporal closures. CTSP will also produce posters and leaflets of dulong species profile as learning aid. Given the developments, policy, and successful implementation of initiatives regulating dulong fishery in San Juan, we hope to use the San Juan experience as a model for the remaining municipalities/cities where dulong fishery continues unabated.

Background on Dulong Fishery In San Juan, Batangas

Conservation International-Philippines contracted FIN/WorldFish to conduct a study on the composition of dulong fish catches by San Juan fishers in Batangas. They were able to identify the composition and life-history stage of dulong catches in December 2008 to January 2009. Samples collected from the market and fish landings revealed dominance of postlarval towards juvenile stage catches of Engraulidae (anchovies) and Clupeidae (sardines) with mean size range of less than 20mm. This is contrary to the common notion that dulong is just composed of one species and is a small, but already mature fish. FishBase (www.fishbase.org), an online comprehensive database of fish species...
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