Cephalopod Fishery of the Northern Sulu Sea, Philippines


by: Annabelle GC del Norte-Campos, Wilfredo L. Campos


The cephalopod fisheries of the northern Sulu Sea based on Malalison Island, Culasi and in Tibiao, Antique, Philippines were monitored over a period of two years from April 2018 to March 2020, where catch (kg), species caught by gear, and fishing effort, were recorded daily in situ from a fixed and representative number of fishers. From these, catch, corresponding value, and fisher income were estimated. Of the three gears, the jigger fully (100%) targets cephalopods, while spearfishing catch fish slightly more than cephalopods. A total of five cephalopod species are exploited by the fishery i.e., two squids (Sepioteuthis lessoniana & Sthenotheuthis oualaniensis), one cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus), and two species of octopods (Callistoctopus nocturnus, and Octopus cyanea). Of these, the octopod species dominated the catch (71%) with S. lessoniana comprising the least (2%). Hook and line showed the highest catch (41.98%) of all gears, responsible for catching the two octopod species the most. Annual fisher income proved to be highest (annual mean PhP 54,508.84 yr-1) among those employing jiggers to exploit S. oualaniensis, the most expensive (PhP200 kg-1) species. The fishers’ annual income may not be much, but is augmented by other forms of fishing, specifically gleaning. Studies on these species’ population biology (age, growth, and mortality) and reproductive biology are necessary to further elucidate the level of exploitation towards ensuring their sustainable utilization.

Keywords: Cephalopod fisheries, Northern Sulu Sea, species population biology