UDALO MPA Baseline

ABSTRACT: This preliminary survey revealed a coral coverage in a poor to fair condition with extremely low invertebrate abundances and the lack of commercial fish species. A low complexity of the habitat and an important sedimentation on the reefs were observed, suggesting an overexploitation and a sediment stress from terrestrial run-offs. The restoration of the habitat and species communities will likely take several years to recover to a healthy status. In addition, the dulong fishery appears to be intense in the MPA area, a non-selective fishery method targeting immature fish that likely accelerates the overexploitation. The relative success of the nearby MPA Apias should encourage the implementation of a second MPA Muting Buhangin to initiate a network of restricted fishing areas to restore the fish and coral communities. The creation of the MPA network must, however, involve a continuous dialogue among all stakeholders through an adaptive management strategy, a community-based MAP network

Demographic dynamics of the smallest marine vertebrates
fuel coral-reef ecosystem functioning

ABSTRACT: How coral reefs survive as oases of life in low-productivity oceans has puzzled scientists for centuries. The answer may lie in internal nutrient cycling and/or input from the pelagic zone. Integrating meta-analysis, field data, and population modelling, we show that the ocean’s smallest vertebrates, cryptobenthic reef fishes, promote internal reef-fish biomass production through exceptional larval supply from the pelagic environment. Specifically, cryptobenthics account for two-thirds of reef-fish larvae in the near-reef pelagic zone, despite limited adult reproductive outputs. This overwhelming abundance of cryptobenthic larvae fuels reef trophodynamics via rapid growth and extreme mortality, producing almost 60% of consumed reef fish biomass. Whilecryptobenthics are  commonly overlooked, their unique demographic dynamics may make them a cornerstone of ecosystem functioning on modern coral reefs.

Vulnerability assessment of marine ecosystems and fisheries to climate change in

the Verde Island Passage

ABSTRACT: IThis report synthesizes the five studies of the “Vulnerability Assessment of Marine Biodiversity and Related Human Well-Being in the Verde Island Passage” project funded by the Conservation International. Implemented by researchers from the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines and De La Salle University, the research activities focused on the characterization of the geological, physical and biological environment and fisheries of the Verde Island Passage (VIP). The objective was to determine the vulnerability of the VIP marine biodiversity to impacts of climate change, which included changes in ocean temperature, sea level rise, and increased frequency of more devastating typhoons.

Electrical Stimulation Greatly Increases
Settlement, Growth, Survival, and Stress
Resistance of Marine Organisms

ABSTRACT: Increasing stress from global warming, sea level rise, acidification, sedimentation, pollution, and unsustainable practices have degraded the most critical coastal ecosystems including coral reefs, oyster reefs, and salt marshes. Conventional restoration methods work only under perfect conditions, but fail nearly completely when the water becomes too hot or water quality deteriorates. New methods are needed to greatly increase settlement, growth, survival, and resistance to environmental stress of keystone marine organisms in order to maintain critical coastal ecosystem functions including shore protection, fisheries, and biodiversity. Electrolysis methods have been applied to marine ecosystem restoration since 1976, with spectacular results (Figures 1(a)-(c)). This paper provides the first overall review of the data. Low-voltage direct current trickle charges are found to increase the settlement of corals 25.86 times higher than uncharged control sites, to increase the mean growth rates of reef-building corals, soft corals, oysters, and salt marsh grass—an average of 3.17 times faster than controls (ranging from 2 to 10 times depending on species and conditions), and to increase the survival of electrically charged marine organisms an average of 3.47 times greater than controls, with the biggest increases under the most severe envi ronmental stresses. These results are caused by the fundamental biophysical stimulation of natural biochemical energy production pathways, used by all organisms, provided by electrical stimulation under the right conditions. This paper reviews for the first time all published results from properly designed, installed, and maintained projects, and contrasts them with those that do not meet these criteria.

Post-Larval Capture and Culture

as Ecological and Socio-Economical alternative

ABSTRACT: Most marine animals undergo a planktonic larval phase in their life cycle. This period of development, which for coral reef fish generally takes place in the open sea (oceanic) environment, is followed by return to the original habitat of the breeding stock of the species concerned. The oceanic larval phase duration varies from 10 to 100 days depending on the species of fish (Wellington and Victor 1992). This return is first passive, as dictated by the movements of water masses and ocean currents, thus favouring the dispersal of larvae, and then active for a short period (less than one week), during which time the larvae seek the reef habitat that will suit them best. This nocturnal (to diminish the risk of predation) phase, during which colonisation occurs, is a crucial phase in recruitment. It is only
after this stage that the animals are called juveniles (associated with a change of diet, colour and sometimes shape) (Doherty and Williams 1988). If larvae are collected before the intense predation event that occurs during colonisation, the impact of collection is negligible because the captured animals are part of a large pool of individuals, most of which are destined to become meals for lagoon predators.