Biophysical Profile of Lutao Reef and Nearby Vicinity in 2007
Coral reefs are one of the most productive marine ecosystem that helps replenish fish stocks in the sea. Samar, Philippines relies so much on marine products as the main source of food and livelihood, thus care of its reef is very important. There are several reefs in the bays and seas of Samar with Lutao Reef as the largest for the City of Catbalogan. The barrier reef is estimated to be 1.6 km long and 0.25 km width covering an area of about 37.64 hectares. Despite being a protected area since 1996, the reef shows a certain level of degradation attributed to destructive fishing, gleaning of important marine resource and coastal processes such as improper waste disposals causing damage to the corals in the reef. Non-biodegradable waste clings on to the coral reef were observed. Only about ¾ is covered with live corals mostly of Acropora genre. About 10% of the corals in the reef are dead, some exhibits coral bleaching and others due to destructive fishing activities. A total of 43 species of fish were identified with nine dominant species (Pomacentrus trillineatus, Pomacentrus richardsoni, Plotosus lineatus, Cheilodipterus novemstriatus, Abudefduf vaigienses, Protocaesio tile, Neoglyphidodon melas, Abudefduf sexfasciatus, Cheilodipterus quinquelineatus) varying every month. There are signs of the reef recovering in a dismal phase which means that there is no significant improvement in coral assemblages seen in the reef compared to 2006 survey.