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Summary Field Report: “Saving Philippine Reefs” Coral Reef Monitoring Expedition to Bohol

Summary Field Report: “Saving Philippine Reefs” Coral Reef Monitoring Expedition to Bohol

2023 Saving Philippine Reefs: A Coral Reef Monitoring Expedition to Bohol
Publication Type Report
Year of Publication 2024
Authors White A, Molina D, Delizo D Jr, Dia R, Sabonsolin A
Institution Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, Inc.
City Cebu City
Abstract This report contains the results of the 2023 Saving Philippine Reefs research expedition conducted at seven (7) marine sanctuaries in Bohol, Philippines: Pamilacan Island Fish Sanctuary, San Isidro-Dao Marine Sanctuary, Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary, Bil-isan Marine Sanctuary, Bolod, Marine Sanctuary, Doljo Marine Sanctuary, and Tawala Marine Sanctuary. In addition, the results of surveys conducted from 1985 to 2023 that have assessed the management, coral abundance, and reef fish trends at each site are included herein.

Pamilacan Island Fish Sanctuary, established in 1985, shows a sustained management effort by the Pamilacan Fishermen’s Association. The coral abundance has shown an increasing trend from 1984
to 2023, with the reefs in fair condi4on (>25% living coral cover). While fish densities decreased, biomass increased, especially in target fish species indicating that the fish sanctuary has been enforced.

San Isidro-Dao Marine Sanctuary, established in 2002, initially faced challenges in fish density but improved its management to an “established phase” by 2007. However, the 2023 survey observed a
decline in coral cover and fish populations, suggesting management issues. This site was also impacted by the typhoon of 2021 that severely damaged reefs with windward exposure.

Balicasag Island Marine Sanctuary, established in 1986, faced challenges in management commitment by 2007. The 2023 survey revealed damage to the shallow reef flat caused by Typhoon
Ode_e in 2021. Live hard coral cover decreased, with an increase in dead coral with algae. Fish biomass inside the sanctuary increased, but the overall trend in fish populations declined.

Bil-isan Marine Sanctuary, established in 1998, exhibited positive trends in coral growth from 1999 to 2023, with strict enforcement contributing to live hard coral cover increases as well as the reef being situated on the leeward side of Panglao Island and thus not directly affected by the typhoon of 2021. Fish densities and biomass increased over the years, showcasing effective management.

Bolod Marine Sanctuary, established in 1998, showed a decline in branching corals and live hard coral cover from 2007 to 2023 since this reef was also exposed to the recent typhoon waves. Despite
fluctuation, target fish biomass increased, suggestion some recovery and enforcement of the no-fishing regulation in the marine sanctuary.

Doljo Marine Sanctuary, established in 1986 and maintained since 1998, demonstrated consistent
live hard coral cover improvements, effec4ve management, and posi4ve fish popula4on trends,
despite a slight decrease from 2007. Doljo also benefited from being on the leeward side of Panglao
and thus not directly impacted by the typhoon of 2021.

Tawala Marine Sanctuary, established in 1998, showed a decline in live hard coral cover from 2007 to 2023, with a significant decrease in branching corals being directly affected by the 2021 typhoon. Fish biomass and density also decreased, emphasizing the need for improved management.

Overall, the findings highlight the complex interactions between management practices, environmental factors, storm events and the status of coral reefs and fish populations in Bohol’s marine sanctuaries. Effective management, community engagement, and adaptive strategies are crucial for the conservation and sustainability of these ecosystems.

File SPR_2023_Bohol
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