Science department study says Davao Gulf dyingPhilippine Daily Inquirer
DAVAO CITY—The Davao Gulf, Southern Mindanao’s fishing ground, is dying due to destruction of fish sanctuaries by illegal fishers and pollution, a study made by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.
The study, which involved at least 265 fishermen and was undertaken with the World Fish Center, showed that illegal fishing led to a decline in fish catch among fishermen in the gulf.
In Davao del Norte, the volume of catch fell by at least 79.52 percent, according to the study.
In Davao City, catch fell from 12 kilograms per fisherman per day in 2000 to just 2 kg per fisherman per day in 2010.
Elsie May Solidum, assistant DOST director for Southern Mindanao, said destruction of corals and other fish habitat was the main reason for the declining fish catch.
Dynamite fishing and massive pollution in the gulf are tagged culprits, said Solidum.
In Davao del Sur, sea grass depletion was cited as one of the reasons for decreasing fish catch but illegal fishing is also largely to blame.
Pollution also caused high coliform presence in Davao City, which indicated deteriorating water quality, particularly in Matina Aplaya, she said.
Solidum said other reasons for declining fish catch are the encroachment of commercial fishing boats into municipal waters and the conversion of mangrove areas into resorts and recreation establishments.
She said adding to the problem is the failure of local government units to address environmental concerns in their areas. Judy Quiros, Inquirer Mindanao