Scientist urges gov’t action on overfishing at Lagonoy Gulf

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Commercial vessels apprehended by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for fishing illegally in Bicol waters. Photo courtesy: The Examiner
Commercial vessels apprehended by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for fishing illegally in Bicol waters. Photo courtesy: The Examiner

By Joey Natividad
Special Correspondent

PILI, Camarines Sur (BicolToday.com/9-Feb-12) – Scientist Victor Soliman, Ph.D urges the Camarines Sur Government to take initiatives to conserve and regulate the rich fishing waters of the Lagonoy Gulf amid declining fish population in the wake of on-going climate change and rising sea-surface temperature.

Based on the scientist’s research, the population of more than 500 species of fishes are expected to decline owing to overfishing and rising sea-surface temperature.

While rising sea-surface temperature is a global phenomenon as a result of global-warming whom the international scientific community must continuously monitor, the problem of over-fishing in rich fishing waters can be controlled by government intervention and private sector and stakeholders cooperation.

Soliman presented before the Camarines Sur Provincial Board, in session, chaired by Vice Governor Fortunato Peña, his research on Siganids, a fish specie known as Bataway or Cuyog, which are abundant in the waters of Lagonoy Gulf.

According to Soliman, the Seganids are highly sensitive to rising sea-surface temperature, and his research has shown its population is declining – a dangerous trend that will affect fish supply for food in the long term.

“A degree of rising sea-surface temperature results of thousands of tons of fish loss from potential spawning,” said Soliman. “A worst-case effect on Seganids will also seriously affect more than 500 fish species in the Lagonoy Gulf, which is also a marine habitat of tuna.

Soliman is technical leader of Coastal Resources Management of Bicol University Tabaco Campus, Tabaco City, Albay. He is considered an expert in fish research among international scientific circles in the ASEAN countries.

The Lagonoy Gulf is surrounded by 15 coastal towns and the provinces of Camarines Sur, Albay, and the island-Province of Catanduanes.

Vice- Governor Peña vows to initiate moves for a tri-provincial cooperation effort over conservation and management of Lagonof Gulf marine resources.BicolToday.com

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