Post-project assessment in Malalison Island

AQD's Dr. Edgar Amar conducting a visual census of fish    A multi-disciplinary team from AQD conducted a post-project assessment last May 19 to 23 at Malalison Island, Culasi, Antique.

The team made a rapid appraisal of coral reefs and invertebrates (led by Ms. Yasmin Tirol), underwater visual census of fish stocks (led by Dr. Edgar Amar), seagrass survey (led by Ms. Maria Rovilla Luhan) and community profiling (led by Ms. Didi Baticados).

Findings show that coral mortality was widespread (37-44%) while live coral cover was very low in the natural reefs surveyed. Because the coral structures remained intact, the cause of coral mortality was thought to be from non-physical disturbances such as climate change, freshwater run-off, or the leakage of toxic chemicals from a cargo ship that sank near the island last year.

The fish census did not vary significantly from data gathered in 1999 and showed that fish were still abundant in the observed areas. However, the team presumed that the abundance of fish will decline in the near future as a result of the
widespread coral mortality.

Seagrass meadows in Malalison remained intact covering an area of 0.2 km2 although shells, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins were no longer found when these were abundant in 1993.

Fishing is still the primary source of livelihood in the community with 81% of the households owning boats.

Fishers claimed that there is still an abundance of fish but the apparent decline in their catch over the years is due to the increase in the island’s population.

Detailed results of the assessment can be read from The Malalison Experience, a storybook which documents the community fishery resources management efforts of AQD in the island since 1991.

The book, which is coauthored by Mr. Renato Agbayani, Dr. Clarissa Marte, Ms. Didi Baticados, Dr. Edgar Amar, and Ms. Milagros CastaƱos, will be available in the latter half of the year.

School supplies for Malalison
AQD's Ms. Luisa Pacino (right) turning over school supplies to teachers and students of Malalison More than 100 pupils of the Malalison Elementary School in Culasi, Antique benefited from about PhP12,000 worth of school supplies and educational materials delivered by AQD staff to the school last June 11, 2009.

Among the school supplies turned over by AQD librarian Ms. Luisa Pacino to the school’s Teacher-in-Charge Ms. Dionna Doroteo-Macuja were globes, maps, storybooks, art materials, charts, notebooks, pens, dictionaries, and volleyballs and nets.

Accompanying the boxes of donated materials was a letter from AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo expressing support to quality education for the children of Malalison Island “so that in the future they take good care of the coastal resources.”

For almost two decades, the Malalison folk have been cooperating with AQD in the effective management of their coastal resources and in the improvement of their socioeconomic conditions.

1 comment:

pukka said...

This used to be my playground. I was with the scientists when we assessed the island from 1992, I was 10 then.

I know this island and its surrounding reefs. I would say that the best memories of my childhood were spent here.