The Eel Fishery in Tributaries Along Lagonoy Gulf: Implications for Management and Conservation
Keywords:modified fyke net, ichthyotoxic plant, caudal cutaneous pigmentation, and glass eel
This study provides a discussion of the eel fishery in the tributaries and rivers along Lagonoy Gulf primarily to formulate management and conservation strategies supportive of the economic potentials and sustainability of the resources. Data collection employed key informant interview and focus group discussion to collect fishery-based data together with the collection of 300 samples per month. Caudal cutaneous pigmentation method was used in species identification. GIS map was prepared to identify the potential eel habitats. The species composition across the study area include: Anguilla marmorata (89.80%), A. bicolor pacifica (10.10%) and A. japonica (0.10%). The wide-distribution of A. marmorata could be explained by the fastness of leptocephalus metamorphosis. Two gears type were identified: modified fyke net was mainly used in glass eel collection while the remaining gears for adult eel. Post-harvest practices are similar to milkfish. Finding showed no clear indication of the status and trend of the fishery. Supply and value chain is limited to 30 collectors, 93 fishers and 5 traders, their number increases proportionately in-line with increasing catch. Estimated annual production for glass eel is 4,626 kg - 1,386 kg valued at ₱9.4M to ₱12.67M and about 325MT to 81.3 MT adult eel annually valued at ₱23.3M to ₱6.6M. Policies and strategies supportive of economic potential of eel resources are recommended alongside the development of sustainable management interventions to sustain the fishery. Further study on species identification using a combination of morphological and molecular technique is recommended.