By Melchor F. Cichon
September 13, 2006
The oil spill in Guimaras Province has been the talk of the town since the oil spill tragedy on August 11, 2006.
And people all over the world have been following this.
So what is the big deal about this incidence particularly to Filipinos?
As of September 9, 2006, according to the Ligtas Guimaras group, of the four municipalities of Guimaras, only the municipality of Buenavista has not been affected by the oil spill. Of the 40 barangays of Guimaras, 26 have been affected that also include 4,533 families and 22,665 persons.
Let us also focus on the fish production of Guimaras Strait.
Guimaras Strait is located between the provinces of Guimaras and Negros Occidental, and one of the most productive fishing grounds in the Philippines.
How this oil spill will affect the fish production of this fishing ground, we cannot at the moment say anything, except to pray that the damage will not be tremendous. For sure, some of the foods of fishes found in this fishing grounds like planktons will be killed by the toxin found in oil slick. With less food would mean less fishes that will strive in the area.
If we look at the productions of Guimaras Strait since 1953 (that is the oldest record this writer could get) up to 2000, we can say that Guimaras strait has been producing tons of fishes. The online news report in the BAR Chronicle vol. 5, no. 4, April 1-30, 2004) states that the average total annual fish production of Guimaras is 50, 000 metric tons.
Here is the part of that news item:
"The study (three-year project entitled, Ocean Color for Sustainable Fisheries (OCSF) funded by the Bureau of Agricultural Research of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAR ) ) also identified the most productive fishing grounds that have an average of annual fisheries production of 50,000 metric tons and above. These are the: Moro Gulf, East Sulu Sea, Visayan Sea, South Sulu Sea, Visayan Sea, Bohol Sea, and Guimaras Strait. These areas contribute to one-half of the total annual fish production in the country. " (The title of the study supplied)
For a clearer view of the annual fish production of Guimaras Strait from 1953 to 2000, I patiently copied the commercial annual fish production of Guimaras Strait from the Philippine Fisheries Statistics and the Philippine Fisheries Profile since 1953 to 2000. This is what I got:
Year……Production (in kg)
1988…uses the 1987 data
1996-2000…use the 1995 data
What are the fishes found in Guimaras Strait?
Based on the Fisheries Statistics issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, these are some of the commercial fishes and other aquatic resources in this fishing ground:
Barracuda,Cavalla,Clams,Cockles,Crevalle,Dolphin fish,Flounders, Flying fish,Fusilies,Glassfish, Goatfish,Goby,
Grouper,Jacks,Jelly fish, Lizard fish, Marine turtle,Milkffish,Mojarra, Moonfish, Moray, Mullets, Mussels, Scallops, Oysters, Perchlet, Scads, Sea bass, Sea catfish, Sea cucumber, Sea perches, Sea urchins, Seaweeds, Shads,Sickle fish, Siganids, Sillago, Slipmouth, Snappers, Spade fish, Sponges, Surgeon fish, Threadfin, Wrasses, and other aquatic plants.
Philippine Fisheries Statistics, and Philippine Fisheries Profile, from 1953 to 2000.