Print ISSN: 0016-4139 Online ISSN: 2719-082X
The study assessed the socio-economic sensitivity and adaptive capacity of fishers in San Miguel Island in relation to coral reef resilience. It explored the status of fishing and its impact on the resource’s resiliency. The study used the vulnerability assessment of coastal fisheries ecosystem to climate change – tool for understanding resilience of fisheries (VA-TURF) framework with emphasis on the socio-economic component and covering the island communities of Sagurong, Rawis and Visita, Tabaco City. Findings showed fishers in the study area have higher sensitivity in terms of population and population density coupled by a higher dependency on the fisheries ecosystem. This clearly means that more people wanting to earn money are expected to engage in excessive fishing resulting to overexploitation, leading to low fish cash, low income and poverty. This condition is worsened by the findings that 66.93% of the fishers having no sources of income or are unable to shift livelihood opportunities due to low education and resources. the average fisher remains poor with PhP 967.37 weekly income, much lower than the average family income in Bicol in 2015 which is set at PhP 3,596 week-1. Given these socio-economic conditions, their adaptive capacity is tremendously affected. these findings provide valuable insights for government interventions designed to improve fishers’ poverty condition and well-being as well to reduce fishing pressure. On this basis of the above findings, it is recommended that governance arrangements and interventions should be consistent with ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM) that takes into account social, economic, biological and institutional aspects in as much as fisheries involved both people and the resource interdependently. The cooperation and support of other line agencies and donors outside of fisheries is necessary to spur development.