Promotion of resource enhancement of seahorse in an island community in Negros Occidental, Central Philippines
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To promote the protection and sustainability of seahorses for their conservation, efforts have been done through stock enhancement by releasing captive-bred seahorses. However, preparatory activities are necessary for the development of long-term program on seahorse stock release and enhancement by conducting baseline stock assessment, developing the appropriate release and monitoring strategies, and encouraging the involvement of concerned communities in the management of the natural seahorse resources. The Aquaculture Department of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC/AQD), with support from the Government of Japan Trust Fund (GOJTF), initiated seahorse resource enhancement efforts in a remote island community in Negros Occidental in central Philippines. Baseline assessment in 2012 to 2019 of the natural stock of seahorses showed an increasing number of stocks over the years. Results of the transport trials of juvenile seahorses (5-7 cm in stretched height (SH)) suggest an optimum stocking density of 3 ind/L for transport duration up to 12 hours. Appropriate protection of the natural habitat and with no gleaning of various intertidal species, the main source of income for the coastal community, suggests a possible sustainability of the wild seahorse stock. The community involvement may be promoted by active participation thru information, education and communication (IEC) and hands-on trainings during field sampling, seed production and nursery rearing of seahorses. Relevant information derived from the activities in the island community may serve as a model for the resource enhancement of seahorses in other potential sites in the Philippines and other countries in the region.
Ursua, S. M. B. (2021). Promotion of resource enhancement of seahorse in an island community in Negros Occidental, Central Philippines. In F. A. Aya, L. D. de la Peña, N. D. Salayo, & E. A. Tendencia (Eds.), Proceedings of the International Workshop on the Promotion of Sustainable Aquaculture, Aquatic Animal Health, and Resource Enhancement in Southeast Asia (pp. 121–126). Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines: Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.