CCEF performed a biophysical assessment in all ten MPAs in LGU Argao from February 8 to 14, 2023. The purpose of the activity is to validate the coordinates of all the MPAs in Argao and to discuss the preliminary findings of the biophysical monitoring, which will be presented to the LGU and community partners. The members present were: The CCEF Team, Edward Vinian(LGU FT), Cindy Remoroza Martinez (DENR), Felix Boltiador(Bantay Dagat – Poblacion), Winston Mendoza(Bantay Dagat).
The ten (10) MPAs were: (1) Poblacion MPA, (2) Langtad MPA, (3) Bogo MPA, (4) Tulic MPA, (5) Binlod MPA, (6) Bulasa MPA, (7) Casay MPA, (8) Talaga MPA, (9) Guiwanon MPA, (10) Taloot.
Initial observations for the monitoring were discussed. For starters, it was mentioned that Casay reef has degraded. According to Dalton Dacal, it used to have several large branching corals and huge barrel sponges. For this monitoring, Surgeonfish, Jacks, and sea turtles were sighted. The possible reasons for the damage to Casay reef was also mentioned such as typhoons, net of fish cages that drifted and got tangled with the reef.
It was also observed that some MPAs lack marker buoys, especially Guiwanon and Taloot. Some of the buoys may have been washed out by strong waves. A proposition was raised to make the MPA enforcement strict. Specifically to disallow crossing the MPA. Another proposition was to cut off engines and use a paddle when crossing the MPA.
By the end of the feedback, the LGU and Partners were thankful for the assistance. The next step would be for the CCEF Team to finish analyzing the collected data and present the results to the LGU and the community.