A 9-month study on the distribution, abundance and ecology of trash fish in the Visayan Sea is presented. It is based on the data obtained from the trawling experiments and oceanographic observations conducted on board the research and training vessel, M/V “Albacore” of the U.P. College of Fisheries.
A total of 1,789.2 kilograms of trash fish was caught in 213 hours, giving a mean catch rate of 8.4 kilograms per hour for the entire 9-month period. Results show difference in real distribution, seasonal (monthly) abundance, depth and time distribution.
Of the 59 families, 51 genera and 46 species identified, the predominant “commercial” groups were those belonging to the Families Platycephalidae (flatheads), Leignathidae (slip mouths), Synodontidae (lizardfishes) and Bothidae (flatfishes); Families Tetraodontidae (pufferfishes), Apogonidae (cardinal-fishes), Triglidae (gurnards), Torpedinidae (electric rays) and Pomacentridae (damselfishes) were among the top ranking “non-commercial” fish groups in the trash fish component of the trawl catch.
Temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and pH conditions made no significant influence on the distribution of Spheroides lunaris, Lepidotrigla sp. and Daya jerdoni.