An assessment of the impact of the Solar I Oil Spill on ichthyoplankton abundance, composition, and distribution in Southern Guimaras, Central Philippines


by: Wilfredo L. Campos* and August S. Santillan


The potential impact of the Solar I Oil Spill on the ichthyoplankton in southern Guimaras was investigated. Plankton samples were collected by means of 5 min surface horizontal tows using a 0.25 x 0.75m rectangular plankton net fitted with a bag of 300 mm mesh. At least 12 stations were sampled on each of 3 occasions corresponding to 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 7 weeks after the spill. The results covering this period showed that fish egg and larval densities were no different from densities observed in the reserve in 2000 and 2001. The relative age distribution of the larvae showed the absence of flexion to late stages 2 weeks after the spill, indicating high egg and early larval mortality during this period. The major larval species groups observed in this study were the same dominant groups observed in previous surveys, except for the absence of nemipterids up to at least 3 weeks after the spill. In previous surveys, nemipterids made up about 11% of all larvae. Their absence immediately after the spill may likely affect subsequent recruitment in the area.

Keywords: Oil Spill; ichthyoplankton; Central Philippines