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Wild lobster (Panulirus ornatus) fry fishery in Balete bay, Davao Oriental: Catch trends and implications to fisheries management

Macusi, Edison D., Laya-og, Manilyn E., Abreo, Neil Angelo S.
Ocean & coastal management 2019 v.168 pp. 340-349
Panulirus ornatus, bamboos, chemical residues, coastal zone management, ecosystems, effluents, farms, fisheries, fisheries management, fishery resources, focus groups, income, interviews, livelihood, lobsters, mangoes, monitoring, shrimp culture, temporal variation, traps, waste disposal, Philippines
The coastal ecosystem of the Philippines is one of the richest and most diverse on earth. Lobsters are one of the commercially exploited species targeted by small-scale fishers for their livelihood and income. This study aims to determine the catch, and catching pattern of the wild lobster fry fishery, quantify the catch per unit effort (CPUE) and identify issues and challenges present in the lobster fry fishery for improved conservation and management. A combination of semi-structured interviews (n = 90), focus group discussion (n = 35) and actual catch monitoring for three months of lobster fry fishers (n = 20) were conducted to elicit information on lobster catch, composition, fishing practices and issues and challenges. Results from the interview and focus groups showed that majority of fishers catch the fries of Panulirus ornatus, Parribacus antarcticus and Panulirus versicolor. They catch most of the lobster fries using bamboo traps and beach seine. The analysis of the CPUE also revealed significant results (P ≤ 0.05) with the good catch having the highest CPUE value (0.30 g) followed by the normal catch (0.16 g) and worst catch of (0.02 g). In terms of weekly field monitoring of the catches of 20 fishers, temporal variation in terms of weeks was highly significant (P = 0.000; R2 = 22). Some management issues mentioned by fishers include effluents from shrimp farming, illegal fishing, chemical residues from mango farms and improper waste disposal. The lack of a management plan, as well as a system to control who has access to the fishing ground of lobster fries, can negatively affect the long-term sustainability of the lobster fry fishery.