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Issue No:78
  • :January
  • :2018

Samudra Report No.78, January 2018

Philippines / SSF

Clear and Present Danger

Despite good policies and programmes, the Philippines struggles with illegal, destructive and unsustainable practices and use of coastal resources and fisheries

This article is by Dinna Lacsamana-Umengan (, Executive Director, Tambuyog Development Center, Quezon City, Philippines

Coastal resources in the Philippines are severely depleted. Over the past century, mangrove forests have lost three-fourths of their cover and are currently facing a deforestation rate of 2,000 to 3,000 ha per year. In a study in 1996 by White and De Leon (see the For more box below), it was revealed that only 140,000 ha of mangrove forests remain out of 450,000 ha. Based on a report by the Philippines’ Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), only four per cent of coral reefs remain in excellent condition (more than 75 per cent coral cover), 28 per cent in good condition (50-75 per cent cover), and the remaining range from poor to fair conditions, due mainly to sedimentation and blast fishing in nearshore areas. According to a study conducted by Forbes and Santos in 2004, only 978 sq km of seagrass beds remain out of the more than 10,000 sq km in 98 surveyed sites.

In an earlier study, it was revealed that all...

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