ILOILO – Aside from making thousands of people homeless and some fishermen jobless, Super Typhoon “Yolanda” also stirred the fishing ground of this province whose main income relies on agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries.
In the town of Concepcion alone, some 111.4 kilometers from the province’s capital city, almost 90 percent of the coral reefs in their municipal waters were completely ruined, according to Emelinda Abyan, an environment management specialist.
Abyan said she saw the massive marine destruction when she dove into the seawaters of Concepcion last December 8, 2013 or one month after the super typhoon wrecked havoc in Northern Iloilo.
“Based on what I saw, 90 percent of the coral reefs were crushed and this is a very serious problem,” Abyan revealed during the ceremonial turning over of 10 motor bancas donated by Senate President Franklin Drilon in the town’s fishing port on Thursday.
Abyan told the Senate chief as well as Governor Arthur Defensor Sr., 5th District Representative Niel Tupas Jr., Concepcion Mayor Milliard Villanueva and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Director Drusila Esther Bayate.
“Restoring fish habitat will take us years since coral reef has sluggish growth rate. In an average, it can grow only one inch per year,” she said.
Concepcion has 125-kilometer coastal length and 96,481 hectares of municipal waters – the second widest next to Carles in the Visayan Sea.
To get the concrete data, the Non-Government Organization’s for Fisheries Reform and the members of the Northern Iloilo Alliance for Coastal Development are set to conduct a rapid assessment on super typhoon’s marine destruction on December 18-22, 2013.
The assessment report will be the basis for the government officials and concerned national government agencies to craft the immediate and long-term rehabilitation plan of the damaged marine area. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)