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Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 196-208

Keywords : Hydrobiological; Coastal Zone; Mangrove Swamp; Seagrass Beds; Algal Communities; Scattered Coral Heads.;

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The coastline of the municipality of Catarman, Northern Samar stretches about 13.32 kilometers and its municipal waters has an estimated area of 66.304 square kilometers. Generally it has a plain bottom topography, consisting of coarse sand and muddy terrigenous soil that is carried and deposited by the fresh water that gush out from Catarman River, the major tributary of ‘sweet water' which enriched the substrate with nutrients that eventually give rise to algal and plankton blooms that invite schooling pelagic fishes jacking up the commercial value of the municipal water. The soft bottom sediment gently slopes on the average of 3 degrees from the intertidal zone and stretches up to 60 meters deep seaward. The municipality has an estimated aggregate coral reef area of 2,558 square meters with only 20% live coral cover that is mostly concentrated at the seaward side of reef edge, and with massive coral as its dominant life-form structure. The death of coral reefs (60 percent of the cover) is generally presumed to be an aftermath of heavy siltation that is brought about by the influx of fresh water from Catarman river and other tributaries as evidenced by the brownish color of the silted coral heads. However, sites of coral rubbles (about 10%) believed to be a remnant of the blast fishing in the area had been noticed. Non-biodegradable Solid wastes such as cellophanes and plastics were also observed neck-tied on some coral heads. Most of the fishes observed within 1-4 depth range along UEP- Cawayan Fringing reef and Puputihon patch reef are non-commercial reef fish species, such as Palata, Gono, Alibang-bang, lubayan while those fish species that are most preferred by fishermen are in least abundance and can only be observed at greater depth range (Molmol, Baraka, Mayamaya). Commonly, the sizes of the reef fish that were observed ranges from 6- 30 centimeters fork length suggesting that the fish stock in the area is still young. The volume of the fish stock within the reef system of Puputihon and UEP-Cawayan area is estimated to be at 15 kilograms per hectare. The high importance value of the” non-target” reef species connotes that the surrounding reef habitat has still the capability to carry out the necessary ecological processes of reef fish reproduction. There are 5 species of seagrasses that thrives in Puputihon islet and UEP-Cawayan fringing reef. Ecologically, these seagrass areas serve as breeding and feeding grounds for some seagrassspecific fishes and mollusks. The Turtle Grass, Thallassia Hemprichii and Cymodocea sp.dominates the seagrass community (constituting about 85 % of the area). The Eel grass (Enhalus acoroides), Spoon Grass (Halophila sp.), Needle Grass (Halodule sp.) are noted to be less occurring. Though, this macrophyte community could well serve the reef system ecologically

Last modified: 2019-01-22 18:31:13