By Alfredo L. Vargas Jr.
LEGAZPI CITY (22-Dec-2012/PNA) – At least three coral reefs in Albay Gulf were found damaged by blast fishing, officials and staff of the Pacific Blue Dive Center, an organization of marine environmentalists and scuba divers based here reported.
One of the sites was believed blasted hours before their dive and the others were damaged about two to three days ago, the group composed of former Legazpi City Vice Mayor Jess Enrico Salazar and his brother, Noel, a corporate manager, scuba diving trainers George Nakano, Jin Masuda and Almar Buid and a local Fisherman, Enel Cagawan said.
In their report, submitted to the city government, it identified the three reef areas as “Itom na Buya (Black Bouy)”, “Pulang Buya (Red Bouy)” and “Dakulang Masulog” (Large and with strong current).
The group requested for the immediate implementation of national laws and ordinances against various forms of illegal fishing.
At “Itom na Buya”, the group discovered the wrecked coral reef and dead fish species at around 5-meter depth. The site was believed blasted few hours before their arrival as evidenced by the fishes collected that remained fresh and bore no signs of predator and scavenger attacks.
Two hours later the group reached the reef at “Pulang Buya” where at less than 5-meter depth,damaged corrals and dead fish species were already deteriorating and feasted upon by crabs and other scavenger.
Pieces of shattered rock-shape corrals were seen lying along the dead fishes and nearby, at about 7 meters deep a thick brunch corral was also crumbed.
Within the site the group also documented several table and brunch corals grown with moss that is a proof they are already dead most probably from poison fishing,
The same reef situation and presence of dead fish species were documented at the “Dakula na Masulog” later that day. (PNA)