Agsalin Fish Sanctuary
The Agsalin Fish Santuary, located in Brgy. Agsalin, Gloria Oriental Mindoro, is 88 kilometers from Calapan City, the provincial capital. It is on the southern part of the province, specifically at 12°52’ 95” N latitude and 120° 29’ 37” E longitude. It is about 0.5 kilometer from the barangay or community proper and the distance to the nearest river is 1,000 meters.
The sanctuary covers an area of 80.13 hectares and is made up of shoal reef type approximately 700-800 meters from the shoreline fronting Barangay Agsalin and with an estimate of more than 10 hectares of reef area at 50-60 feet depth.
Conditions of Live Corals, Fishes, Living marine Organisms and Other Assets
Reef Structure and Corrals
Based from the pre-assessment result conducted last March 13, 2003 by BFAR technical divers, the Agsalin Fish Sanctuary is composed of coral reef, seagrass bed, soft bottom and rocky intertidal. The reef is big mound that extends down reaching a sandy substrate about 60 feet with scattered small patches of coral mounds.
Benthic Life Forms
Its non-acropora hard coral granite form were the most abundant biotic component covering a total of 47.74% while dead coral cover was the second highest at 24.46%. The organisms like sponge and crinoids comprised 21.10% and abiotic materials occupied 5.40% of transect line. No acropora corals were observed along the transect line.
Below is a tabular and comparative presentation of benthic life forms based on the Rapid Resource Assessment of March 13, 2003 and Sanctuary Monitoring on July 15, 2005 by the BFAR-CRM Team.
|Benthic Life Form||2003||2005|
Noteworthy Flora and Fauna
During the underwater survey, various species of reef species were noted. Schools of Casionids (fusiliers), Lutjanids (snappers), Acanthurids (surgeon fish), Haemulids (sweet lips), Sphyraenids (barracudas) were also observed. Some were Chaetodontids (Butterfly fishes), Pomacanthids (angel fishes) and Zanclids (Moorish idol). Sighting of marine sea turtles and giant clams were also observed.
Condition of the Marine Protected Area (MPA)
The Agsalin Reef or Fish Sanctuary is the only sanctuary established and officially declared in the Municipality of Gloria. The enforcement of its policies is closely monitored by the municipal government thru its Municipal Agriculture Office-Fishery Sector and deputized Bantay Dagat volunteers of Gloria. A guardhouse located in front of the Agsalin MPA functions as the field office of the Bantay Dagat. Visibility patrols have been proven to be efficient in deterring violations of the policies of the Agsalin MPA.
Policies and Regulations
The overarching policies and regulations governing the marine protected area lies on the two (2) basic laws, such as the Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 and Republic Act 8550, the Philippine Fishery Code of 1998.
RA 7160 mandates all local chief executives to adopt measures to safeguard and conserve land, mineral, marine, forest and other resources. Under the same law, specifically, Section 447(a)(1)(vi), Section 458 (1)Vi) and Section 468 (a)(1)(vi), give authority to the local sanggunian to enact ordinances and resolutions to safeguard the environment and impose penalties for acts that would result environmental degradation. Authority of the local government units over coastal, marine, inland water resources management is also embodied in the applicable provisions of RA 8550.
The establishment of the sanctuary is legally supported by Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 3051-A and Municipal Ordinance No. 4, series of 2005 providing for the development, conservation and management of the fisheries and aquatic resources in the Municipality of Gloria, Or. Mindoro. Essentially, it officially declared the Agsalin Reef as the fishery reserve or sanctuary of the municipality. The said municipal ordinance was accordingly approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan through Resolution No. 150-2006 dated May 8, 2006.
It is also supported by the Provincial Ordinance No. 004-2004 otherwise known as the Provincial Coastal Marine and Inland Water Resources Management Code of 2004, particularly in Sections 1 and 2.
National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) has also issued the corresponding NAMRIA-MW-MRE-008, series of 2009, dated January 13, 2009 certifying the technical description of the Municipal Waters of the municipality.
Particular and specific policies, rules and regulations governing the use of the sanctuary site, facilities, equipment and other materials are embodied in the appropriate sections of the MPA Management Plan.