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Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV

Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.


Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
2.2.6 Marine Ecology
The town of Lobo is one of 13 municipalities in Batangas that straddles the Verde Island Passage,
one of priority marine key biodiversity areas in the region. There are ten (10) Barangays that are
situated in the coastline and six of these are within a coastal enclave that faces the MRL Lobo MPSA
and Archangel MPSA, shown in Figure 2.2.14 below.

Stretch of survey

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.14 Map showing six coastal Barangays between Lobo and Archangel MPSAs
An assessment of coastal resources and marine habitats in the shallow coastal seas fronting these six
coastal Barangays was conducted from 4 to 6 October 2013. A total of 11, 286 people live within the
coastal zone in these villages, comprising 37.53% of the total population of the municipality, shown in
Table 2.2.15 below.
Table 2.2.15 Population of Coastal Barangays near MPSAs, 2010 (Source: census.gov.ph)
Name of Barangay
Population
Balibago
2,967
Malabrigo
1,546
Soloc
1,801
Olo-olo
1,377
Lagadlarin
1,853
Fabrica
1,742
Total
11,286
The conduct of the rapid coastal assessment is in the waters and coastline fronting these Barangays
was part of an iterative process of coastal environmental profiling commissioned in order to define the
primary ecological attributes of the area. The economic and environmental significance of the coastal
resources of Lobo cannot be overemphasized; these support the livelihood of the majority of the
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Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
coastal populace and the fisheries that these support sustain the cheapest source of animal protein
for rural communities. Protecting coastal habitats, sustaining fisherfolk livelihoods and food security,
are therefore the major components of the Municipalitys coastal and fisheries resource management
program which was supported for a long time by Conservation International and is currently being
assisted by the USAID-funded Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries Project. The
assessment focused on scientifically documenting the existence and condition of a range of
ecological components, resources and resource use practices found within the coastline and the
stretch of near shore waters where primary productivity is highest in the coastal environment.
Specifically, the objective of the assessment is to account and describe the location and condition of
primary benthic habitats principally coral reefs, seagrass beds, associated fisheries resources,
resource use practices and other ecological attributes in order to characterize such ecological niches
in their current state and identify susceptibility to possible issues and stressors of anthropogenic
origin, or describe the threats that are currently negatively affecting such habitats. The evaluation is
therefore broad and far-reaching, in order to generate meaningful information that can be the basis for
making informed decisions on how to monitor changes in the condition of the resources and address
issues that may affect sustainability and resilience.
2.2.2.1 Scope of Assessment
The assessment involved a full accounting of all benthic habitats and associated coastal resources
encountered across a swath of coastal waters running about 80 kilometers from east to west, starting
in Bgy. Balibago, past the headland of Bgy. Malabrigo, thence westward towards the Lobo River
estuary in Bgy. Fabrica. The survey corridor covered a breadth of about 500 meters from the coastline
fronting the coastline of 7 barangays, following the coral reef crest isobath, in order to assess and
document current condition of a broad range of mutually linked habitats. The scope of work of the
coastal/marine survey focused on the conduct of the following activities:

Determination of distribution and composition of coral cover and associated benthic life
forms supported by analysis of present conditions of the coral reefs and the factors that
lead present coral mortality;
Definition of species composition, abundance, and biomass of associated reef fish
communities in sampling areas;
Identification of commercially-important benthic macro invertebrates in inter-tidal areas in
various habitat components;
Where they occur, assessment of the diversity and species composition of seagrass
resources and associated macro benthic algae;
Species composition, crown cover and present condition of mangrove stands within the
study area;
In-situ rapid assessment of species composition, estimation of catch rates of primary
target species of fish, and identification of fishing gears employed in the area that can be
affected by project operations;
Assessment of zooplankton and phytoplankton communities and the presence of HABcausing organisms (harmful algal blooms);

2.2.2.2 Objectives and Limitations of the Study


The surveys were undertaken to validate the presence of significant components of the marine
environment in the study area and to define whether such resources can be susceptible to stressors
potentially emanating from various pathways. The surveys are intended to represent a fairly accurate
baseline data set that portrays the condition of coastal habitats at the time of the survey obtained
through standard scientific assessment protocols. Subsequently, the overall picture of the coastal
environment revealed through survey results can be used as the bases for crafting suitable coastal
resource management measures that can be adopted for long-term application employing current
2.2-55

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
thresholds as the basis of comparative monitoring indicators. However, the survey results portray a
general view of the types and current condition of the coastal environment and the marine resources
present in the area at the time of sampling and cannot represent an irreversible situation. Moreover, it
should be considered that numerous natural and man-made factors are already currently contributing
to coastal resource degradation in the area and these have not been quantified so far. An example is
the current infestation of crown-of-thorns Starfish (Acanthaster sp.) in the reefs of Bgy. Balibago and
these can lead to significant coral mortality in a short time after the survey if no measures are
immediately undertaken to eliminate the threat. Relatedly, the survey does not identify, in this regard,
both point and non-point sources of current stressors but only take into account their current impact, if
any, on the resources.
2.2.2.3 Assessment Methods and Applications
The survey methods employed follow standard marine resource survey techniques prescribed by
English et. al. (1994) and modified in accordance with in-situ conditions following rapid appraisal
techniques for coastal resources. In the coastal area where fish sanctuaries occur, more focused
assessment were undertaken with the survey team members undertaking underwater surveys,
systematic snorkelling and spot dives to determine reef and fish distribution patterns in these focal
conservation areas. Key informants were interviewed to determine marine capture fisheries condition,
and extensive sampling stations to determine presence of macro-invertebrates that are utilized for
food and trade were undertaken throughout the length of the survey path.
The baseline survey is focused on assessing the presence, distribution and diversity of four principal
coastal resources if found to be present in the survey stations, i.e., (i) coral reefs, (ii) reef-associated
fish communities, (iii) mangrove resources, seagrass communities, plankton, and (ii) fishing practices
and productivity. The survey protocol includes:
Conduct of Manta Survey Method for Observation
of Coral Cover and General Coastal Habitat
Configuration
Manta tow surveys (Plate 2.2.7) were conducted in
continuous stations in order to determine benthic
condition over a long stretch of seabed across the
coastal waters in seven Barangays. Manta tow is a
useful method in generating a general profile of
benthic resources as it permits observation of the
Plate 2.2.7: Manta tow survey
condition, distribution and abundance of benthic
habitats in a continuous stretch of the coastal environment. Estimates of percentage distribution of
coral reefs and associated benthos observed within the tow stations are recorded in accordance with
standard categories to document distribution
of coral life forms and the collective picture generated can show a fairly accurate description of the
overall state of the coastal area under study. The mantatow surveys also enable the identification of
the location of seagrass meadows, if present in the area. In areas where significant coral reefs occur,
results from a manta tow survey are used to pinpoint the locations of ideal stations where more
detailed underwater coral reef characterization employing line transects are undertaken.
A total of forty-four (44) survey stations were investigated using the manta tow method, covering a
stretch of more than 80 kilometers of coastal waters (Figure 2.2.16). The stations started in the reefs
of Bgy Balibago in the east, with more intensive stations where fringing reefs occur, and ended in
front of the Lobo Rover in Bgy. Fabrica.
2.2-56

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
.

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Map Showing the Mata Tow Stations During Coastal Assessment Conducted
in Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.15 Forty-four manta tow stations surveyed across a broad swath of coastal waters
within the coastal seas of seven Barangays in Lobo, Batangas; 04-05 October 2013.
Line Intercept Transect (LIT) method for detailed coral reef assessment
Manta tow surveys revealed that coral reefs in the three Fish Sanctuaries located in the study area
(one of which is still in the proposal phase and lacks the Municipal Ordinance to officially declare the
area as a sanctuary) are diverse and hosts significantly high coral cover. To document diversity in
more detail, transect lines were laid out inside each of the sanctuaries in order to more precisely
estimate the relative abundance of living and non-living things on the sea floor. The survey protocol
involved the laying out of 50-m transects parallel to the shoreline and following the reef contour (Plate
2.2.2). Data generated from line-intercept method for coral reef assessment provides more rigid data
sets on percentage of live coral cover as well as species distribution that can be ultimately used for
comparative evaluation if the same survey stations are monitored in the future.
The categories utilized for classifying coral cover follow standard ratings used for live coral
distribution, i.e., 76-100% live coral cover = Excellent; 51-75% coverage live coral cover = Good, 2650% coverage live coral cover = Fair, and 0-25% coverage live coral cover = Poor coral cover
(Gomez, et. Al., 1981).

2.2-57

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Plate 2.2.8: Survey Team Diver Documenting


Coral Diversity in a line in transect and transect

Plate 2.2.9: Fish visual census survey

A total of three (3) detailed LIT stations were surveyed (Figure 2.2.11). These were located inside the
(i) proposed Malagundi Point Fish sanctuary, the Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary and the Sawang-Olo-olo
Fish Sanctuary.
The surveys in these stations were supplemented by spot dives to supplement information on the
extent of coral cover and record other relevant information.
Assessment of reef-associated fish assemblages employing Fish Visual Census (FVC)
The line intercept stations are subsequently used to account for fish communities associated with
coral reefs through standard fish visual census (FVC). The conduct of FVC is designed to document
a fairly accurate picture of demersal fish species richness, abundance and biomass of fish
assemblages associated with benthic habitats. In this case high values for these principal variables
can indicate the overall ecological condition of a reef area and can give a glimpse of ecosystem
function and diversity. Collectively, the results of coral reef assessments and fish visual census are
used as reference points for comparative monitoring of changes in spatial distribution and diversity of
benthic life forms in periodic environmental impact monitoring. Fish visual census (Plate 2.2.3) is
used to estimate the variety, numbers and sizes of fishes along a 10-meter belt following a 50-meter
transect laid over representative coral reef stations. FVC surveys document mostly demersal, reefassociated species of fish that normally indicates the robustness of a coral reef ecosystem. In healthy
reefs, the fish species diversity may include both commercially important fish (e.g., Groupers,
Snappers) and reef-dependent species of fish such as Angelfishes and Butterfly fishes.
The estimation of fish biomass in the stations surveyed can subsequently be used to extrapolate the
average fisheries productivity of the broader coastal area under normal circumstances, especially in
view of the fact that demersal fish can supply about 30 percent of total food fish production in a
locality. This productivity value is in fact one of the most important merits in protecting coral reefs in
the area.

2.2-58

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Map Showing the L.I.T. Assessment Stations During Coastal Assessment
Conducted in Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.16 Three stations in each of three fish sanctuaries were surveyed employing the
Line Intercept Transect (LIT) method for coral reef assessment on 04-05 October 2013.
Fish species encountered in the FVC are categorized as target, major or indicator species based on
categories recommended in Fish Base 2004. Target species are economically important food fish that
are normally sought by fishers for trade of for food. In reef areas, sich demersal species may include
high value groupers (Ephinephalidae), snappers (Lutjanidae), jacks (Carangidae) and some species
of surgeons (Acanthuridae). Fish that belong to the major fish category are considered to be
ecologically important because they occupy unique niches and sometimes symbiotic relationships in
the coral reef ecosystem. Many of these species are represented by members of the damselfishes
(Pomacentridae) and wrasses (Labridae). Indicator species are coral-feeders whose presence, variety
and abundance in a reef area may give an indication of the robustness and diversity of corals present
in the reef. These are mostly comprised of the magnificently-colored butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae),
a few species of Angelfishes and the lone damsel species popularly known as Moorish Idol.
Assessment of seagrass and associated macroalgae
The manta tow survey paths revealed the occurrence of seagrass meadows in the shallow tidal flats
in only two contiguous locations. Assessment of the composition and density of the seagrass beds
were undertaken employing the standard transect-quadrat method prescribed in English et. al. (1997).
Opportunistic surveys of macro-algae occurring alongside the seagrass transects were also
documented. Two survey stations for seagrass communities were completed; indicated in Figure
2.2.18.

2.2-59

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.17 Seagrass survey stations undertaken in the coastal waters of Lobo, Batangas, 05
October 2013.
Survey of commercially-important Macro-Invertebrates
Investigation on the presence of benthic macro-invertebrates was done through actual specimen
collection, opportunistic survey and grab sampling in eight (8) observation stations indicated in Figure
2.2.19. The stations included all LIT/FVC stations, seagrass stations and mangrove survey stations.
Samples of sediments are immediately sieved through a screen mesh and any macro-invertebrates
encountered are identified up to species level. Most of the benthic organisms in a particular coastal
area play important ecological roles in the marine food chain, particularly as prey for many species of
fish and crustaceans that are permanently residing or are transit in the bottom of the sea. Many
bivalves and univalves are collected during gleaning activities for food and trade.
Macroinvertebrates, like bivalve mollusks, can be good indicators of site specific effects disturbances in
the marine benthic environment since they are sessile organisms and their sedentary nature allows
effective analyses of pollutants and effects of benthic disturbance. The presence of macro-benthos in
the sediment is therefore a suitable biological indicator on fertility of the bottom sediment and, on the
other hand, the unsuitability of benthic substrates for the viable existence macro-invertebrate
populations.

2.2-60

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.18 Map showing stations for macro-invertebrate species investigations. Lobo,
Batangas, 05 October 2013
Mangrove Assessment
Viewed from the sea, the coastline of the seven Barangays surveyed do not seem to indicate the
presence of mangrove swamps. Information from key informants however revealed that extensive
mangrove forests occur behind the aroma trees lining the coastline of Bgy. Lagadlarin and portions
of the inner inter-tidal areas in Bgy. Olo-olo. A rapid ocular inspection revealed that many of the said
mangrove stands consists of second growth trees although the species diversity seem to be diverse.
Clumps of Nipa fruticans were also seen in isolated patches in Bgy. Lagdlarin. In Barangays
Balibago, Malabrigo, Soloc, Sawang and Fabrica, no mangrove resources were encountered. A total
of two (2) mangrove survey stations were established (Figure 2.2.19) to determine species
distribution, crown cover and regeneration rates. Standard categories were used to describe the
overall condition of the mangrove resources, to wit:
Table 2.2.16 Categories used in describing overall condition of mangrove stands.
2;
Excellent
76% and above in % Crown Cover; 1 Regeneration per m Above 5m in average tree
height; Undisturbed to negligible disturbance
2;
Good
51% 75% Crown Cover; <1 0.76 regeneration per m <5m 3m average height
of trees; Slight disturbance and few cuttings
2;
Fair
26% 50% Crown Cover; 0.50 0.75 regeneration per m <3m 2m average height
of trees; Moderate disturbance and noticeable cuttings
2;
Poor
0 25% Crown Cover; <0.50 regeneration per m <2m average height of trees
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Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Heavy disturbance/ cuttings/ pollution, rampant conversion to other uses, nearly
destroyed

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.19 Location of two mangrove survey stations in lobo, Batangas; October 5, 2013

Plankton communities
Species composition, abundance and density of phytoplankton and zooplankton communities were
determined using plankton net vertically lowered and towed from sub-surface depths. ShannonWeaver Diversity/Evenness Indices and bio-assessment metrics are then derived from the results of
the sampling. Identification of phytoplankton species that can enrich to become harmful algal blooms
that can potentially cause paralytic shellfish poisoning was also undertaken as algal blooms normally
indicate hyper-nutrient levels in the sea sometimes triggered by problems of anthropogenic origin..
Sampling stations were strategically chosen so that the stations are evenly distributed throughout the
length of the coastline of the seven Barangays in the study area. Six (6) plankton sampling stations
were employed during the survey, depicted in Figure 2.2.20.

2.2-62

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.20 Survey stations for Plankton Communities; Lobo, Batangas, 05 October 2013
Rapid fisheries appraisals
The rapid appraisal was undertaken through key informant interviews to determine (i) dominant fishing
gears used in the study area, (ii) dominant catch composition, (iii) estimated catch rates, and (iv)
issues affecting fisheries. In the coastal waters fronting the MPSLs, fishers conducting actual fishing
operations were interviewed. The presence of coral reefs and deep waters of the Verde Island
Passage signifies that the fisheries of the area is comprised of both pelagic and demersal fishing
operations; with the latter dominated by hook and line operations in reef areas. The shallow, reeffringed coastal waters in front of Barangays are fished for sustenance fisheries employing small-scale
fishing gears. Under the Fisheries Code of the Philippines, the use of commercial fishing boats and
gears is prohibited inside municipal waters.
2.2.2.4

Results of Surveys

General description of the study area


The nearshore waters of the seven barangays under study are characterized by shallow waters over
a relatively narrow shelf that abruptly slopes to the deep waters of the Verde Island Passage in an
average of 300 to 400 meters distance from the shoreline. The offshore waters are influenced by
strong currents which are known to be pathways for large pelagic fishes moving to the northern
Visayan Sea and Sulu Sea. During ebb tides, the strong currents also sweep through the coral
colonies on an easterly direction (Southwest monsoon) such that sediments emanating from point
sources on the shore are flushed out towards the deeper waters in the Lobo-San Juan boundary. The
coastline of the seven Barangays, dominated by a mixture of sand, fine coral rubble and pebbles,
supports a growing tourism industry.
2.2-63

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Fringing reefs dominate the coastal shelf from Bgy. Balibago, hugging the coastline up to the eastern
flank of Bgy. Malabrigo. In these areas, corals are more diverse and denser, interrupted by crevices
and fissures that run through portions of the reef, followed by patches of sandy substrate. The reef
slope is abrupt after about 300 meters from the shoreline and drops to about 10 to 12 fathoms in most
areas. Thereafter, the reefs occur only in patches in front of Bgy. Malabrigo, becomes much lesser in
front of Bgy. Soloc, replaced by sandy substrates mixed with rocks, then reappears again extensively
in the area of the Sawang-Olo-olo Fish Sanctuary. Past this area, corals recede and the seabed
becomes dominated by sand and rocks. The benthic morphology in coastal waters in front of
Barangay Lagadlarin and Fabrica are completely covered with sand and silt sediments, most of which
are deposited from the nearby Lobo River.
Coral reefs hosting the highest and densest coral cover have been placed under protective status
through the declaration of two fish sanctuaries in Bgy. Malabrigo and Sawang-Olo-olo, while another
rd
reef area in Malagundi Point in Bgy. Balibago has been proposed to be a 3 fish sanctuary in the
area. In between fish sanctuaries, the coral reefs show evidences of extensive disturbance in the
past.
Seagrass communities and mangroves do not occur in Bgys. Balibago, Malabrigo, Soloc and
Sawang. Two large meadows of seagrass colonies appear in the central portion of Bgy. Olo-olo but
the distribution is confined to this area, covering approximately 3 to 4 hectares of seemingly
undisturbed seagrass beds. Mangroves, on the other hand, occur in swampy areas behind the beach
in Bgy. Lagadlarin and western Olo-olo.
It is evident that over the last few decades, the coastal habitats in these areas have been subjected to
various forms of stresses and pressures that have altogether eroded portions of the reefs which are
now colonized by macro-algae. However, the impressions from the current survey indicate that there
are no new extensive damage to the reefs and re-colonization of degraded areas seem to be
occurring significantly owing to the presence of diverse coral recruits. This observation indicate that
the intact reefs inside the sanctuaries are functioning as sources of recruits and the degraded reefs
outside the protected areas appear to be favorable sink areas for coral planulae.
The survey and profiling covered a linear expanse of coastal waters covering more than 80 kilometers
east to west following the coastlines of seven Barangays. Observations from manta tow pathways
covered a breadth of approximately 50 to 70 meters of shallow coastal seas following the reef crest
isobath. A total of forty-four (44) manta tow observation stations, three (3) line intercept stations for
detailed coral reef assessment, three (3) fish visual census stations, four (4) supplementary spot dives
inside the fish sanctuaries, two (2) seagrass survey stations, eight (8) sampling stations for
economically-important macro-invertebrates, six (6) zooplankton-phytoplankton sampling stations,
and three (3) mangrove quadrants were completed during the marine survey in the study area.
A map showing the consolidated location of all survey stations is presented in Figure 2.2.21. The
coordinates of the survey stations are shown in Table 2.2.12.

2.2-64

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.21 Map of consolidated survey stations undertaken during the marine ecology
survey in coastal waters of Lobo on October 4-6, 2013

Table 2.2.17 Survey Stations Established during the marine resource and habitat assessments
in Lobo, Batangas from 4 to 6 October 2013
Manta Tow Stations for Benthic Communities
Station
Coordinates
Location/ Observations
1
N 13 36 48
E 121 18 39
Inside proposed Malagundi Fish Sanctuary
in Bgy. Balibago
2
N 13 36 49
E 121 18 34
Inside proposed Malagundi Fish Sanctuary
in Bgy. Balibago
3
N 13 36 48
E 121 18 30
Near proposed Bgy. Balibago sanctuary
4
N 13 36 50
E 121 18 25
Outside proposed Bgy. Balibago sanctuary
5
N 13 36 49
E 121 18 19
Outside Baligabo fish sanctuary
6
N 13 36 44
E 121 18 09
Bgy. Balibago
7
N 13 36 36
E 121 18 01
Bgy. Balibago
8
N 13 36 35
E 121 18 01
Bgy. Balibago
9
N 13 36 30
E 121 17 56
Bgy. Balibago
10
N 13 36 25
E 121 17 53
Bgy. Balibago
2.2-65

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

N 13 36 20
N 13 36 08
N 13 36 4
N 13 36 03
N 13 35 00
N 13 35 57
N 13 35 54
N 13 35 52
N 13 35 52
N 13 35 52
0
N 13 35 50
0
N 13 35 50
0
N 13 35 51
0
N 13 35 51
0
N 13 36 18
0
N 13 36 27
0
N 13 36 32
0
N 13 36 41
0
N 13 36 47
0
N 13 36 48

31
32

N 13 37 02
0
N 13 37 07

33
34

N 13 37 26
0
N 13 37 35

35

N 13 37 37

36
37
38
39
40
41
42

N 13 37 38
0
N 13 37 37
0
N 13 37 36
0
N 13 37 32
0
N 13 37 35
0
N 13 37 42
0
N 13 37 44

43
44

N 13 37 31
0
N 13 37 34

E 121 17 49
E 121 17 41
E 121 17 35
E 121 17 31
E 121 17 24
E 121 17 18
E 121 17 13
E 121 17 04
E 121 16 58
E 121 16 56
0
E 121 16 22
0
E 121 16 13
0
E 121 15 52
0
E 121 15 32
0
E 121 15 19
0
E 121 15 09
0
E 121 15 04
0
E 121 14 53
0
E 121 14 49
0
E 121 14 48

E 121 14 39
0
E 121 14 31

E 121 14 03
0
E 121 13 59

E 121 13 57

E
E
E
E
E
E
E

E 121 12 26
0
E 121 11 59

121 13 51
0
121 13 41
0
121 13 36
0
121 13 29
0
121 13 25
0
121 13 22
0
121 13 15
0

Bgy. Balibago
Bgy. Balibago, Crown-of-Thorns
Bgy. Balibago, dense Crown-of-Thorns
Bgy. Balibago, Crown-of-Thorns
Bgy. Balibago
Bgy. Balibago
Bgy. Balibago
Bgy. Balibago
Sandy substrate, Bgy. Malabrigo
Sandy substrate, Bgy. Malabrigo
Boundary of Bgy Balibago and Malabrigo
Bgy. Malabrigo
Black tip shark, Bgy Malabrigo
Bgy. Malabrigo
Inside Malabrigo fish sanctuary
Inside Malabrigo fish sanctuary
Near Malabrigo fish sanctuary
Bgy. Malabrigo
Boundary Malabrigo-soloc
Sandy substrate starts in front of Andrea
Beach Resort; boundary of Malabrigo-Soloc
Bgy Soloc
Bgy Soloc; substrate increasingly consisting
of sand and rocks
Boundary of Bgy Soloc and Sawang
Boundary of Bgy Soloc and Sawang, fish
sanctuary
Boundary of Bgy Soloc and Sawang fish
sanctuary
Near Bgy. Olo-olo/Sawang, fish sanctuary
Bgy. Olo-olo, fish sanctuary
Inside Sawang-Olo-olo Fish Sanctuary
Outer reef inside fish sanctuary
Heavily silted
Seagrass beds start here
Bgy. Olo-olo; sandy substrate; patches of
degraded reef
Bgy. Lagadlarin, no reefs
In front of river, Bgy. Fabrica; heavily silted

Line Intercept Stations for Detailed Coral Assessment/Fish Visual Census Stations
Station
Coordinates
Location
1
N 13 36' 49"
E 121 18' 36"
Inside proposed Malagundi Point Fish
Sanctuary
2
N 13 36' 31"
E 121 15' 01"
Inside Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary
3
N 13 37' 43"
Mangrove Survey Stations
Station
Coordinates
0
1
N 13 37 45.5
0
2
N 13 37 50.0
0

3
N 13 37 51.3
Seagrass assessment stations
Station
Coordinates
1
N 13 37 49.9,
2
N 13 37 48.6,

E 121 13' 23
0

E 121 12 10.0
0
E 121 13 20.2
0

Location
Bgy Lagadlarin
Bgy Olo-olo

E 121 13 21.4

Bgy Olo-olo

E 121 13 10.6
E 121 13 05.5

Location
Bgy. Ulo-ulo, Lobo
Bgy. Ulo-ulo, Lobo

Plankton Community Survey Stations


Station
Coordinates
2.2-66

Inside Bgy. Olo-olo-Sawang Fish Sanctuary

Environmental Impact Statement

Location
Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
1
2

N 13 37 41
0
N 13 37 37

Near mangrove area, Bgy. Lagadlarin

Inside Olo-olo-Sawang fish sanctuary

Bgy. Malabrigo, near fish sanctuary


Bgy. Balibago-Malabrigo boundary
Inside proposed Malagundi Fish sanctuary
Bgy Balibago

E 121 11 50
E 121 13 33

3
N 13 36 18
E 121 15 21
0
0
4
N 13 35 35
E 121 16 59
0
0
5
N 13 36 41
E 121 18 39
0
0
6
N 13 37 46
E 121 19 29
Macro-invertebrates Survey Stations
Station
Coordinates
1
N 13 36' 49.2"
E 121 18' 35.7"
2
N 13 36' 30.6"
E 121 15' 09.3"

Location
Inside proposed Malagundi Fish Sanctuary
Inside Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary

3
4
5
6
7

N 13 37' 43.1"
N 13 37 49.9,
N 13 37 48.6,
0
N 13 37 45.5
0
N 13 37 50.0

Inside Olo-olo-Sawang Fish sanctuary


Seagrass meadows, Bgy. Olo-olo
Seagrass meadow, Bgy. Olo-olo
Mangrove area, Bgy Lagadlarin
Mangrove area, Bgy Olo-olo

N 13 37 51.3

E 121 13' 23.0


E 121 13 10.6
E 121 13 05.5
0
E 121 12 10.0
0
E 121 13 20.2
0

E 121 13 21.4

Mangrove area, Bgy Olo-olo

Corals - Distribution and Condition


Broad area manta tow observations supplemented by systematic snorkeling reveal that fringing coral
reefs are found in four of the seven Barangays surveyed. The reefs in the eastern flank particularly
in Bgy Balibago hosts the most diverse colonies and they appear to be continuous. The fringing
reef is interrupted by sandy substrate in many portions southwest of Bgy. Balibago, cutting between
patches of dense live coral cover and dead standing corals. The reef-fringed coastline of Bgy
Balibago runs to more than 20 kilometers and the fringing reef abruptly becomes dominated by
smaller patches only in the Malabrigo-Balibago boundary. Sandy substrates are however, consistent
throughout the stretch of reefs. The reefs diminish in the sandy seabed in the central portion of Bgy.
Malabrigo but reappears extensively in the vicinity of the Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary. Thereafter the
corals disappear again in most of the stretch of seabed fronting Bgy. Soloc and resurfaces in Bgys.
Sawang and Olo-olo, where it becomes particularly dense and diverse inside the Sawang-Olo-olo
Fish Sanctuary. On the other hand, there are no corals in the coastal waters fronting Bgys.
Lagadlarin and Fabrica.
Out of the 44 manta tow observations pathways, corals were recorded in a total of 33 stations (Figure
2.2.22), with live coral cover ranging from a low 5% (category: Poor) to an impressive 70-75% LHC
inside the fish sanctuaries (category: Good to Excellent). Most of the stations with fair to good coral
cover are found in Bgy. Balibago. Outside of the protected areas, many of the coral reefs have been
impaired, particularly in the Balibago-Malabrigo boundary and the Malabrigo-Soloc boundary. In
these areas, eleven (11) stations were completely covered with silt and rocks while fourteen stations
had coral cover of only 20% or less (category: Poor). Thus, although the live coral cover were
extensive in the fish sanctuaries, the low ratio of live coral cover to dead corals and the high abiotic
component in some areas in the long stretch of reefs from Balibago to Olo-olo has pulled down the
average live coral cover across all 33 stations with corals to only an average of 32 % of total area
with live corals (Fair condition). Sandy substrate accounted for 33% while dead corals and dead
corals with algae covered a total of 27.5 % combined.
However, viewed from the combined results of the line intercept surveys and the manta tow results, it
appears that while live coral over the entire survey pathway seem to be in fair condition on the
average, coral cover inside the fish sanctuaries where the transect stations were laid out show
exceptional coral cover. This indicates that protection of the sanctuaries is being enforced with
efficiency such that coral growth and recovery in these focal conservation areas have become very
vividly evident.
2.2-67

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

SOURCE: Technotirx Consultancy Services Inc., Base Map Showing Barangays Of Fabrica, Lagadlarin, Olo-Olo, Sawang,
Soloc, Malabrigo & Balibago, Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas. Quezon City. October 2013

Figure 2.2.22 Live coral distribution in 44 manta tow stations, Lobo, Batangas, October 4-5
2013;

2.2-68

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Table 2.2.18 Summary of results of benthic profiling from manta tow surveys in forty-four stations, Lobo, Batangas on October 4-5, 2013

Tow No.:

Geographical Coordinates
Latitude

Longitude

Coral Reef Condition (in %)


Live
Hard
Corals

Live
Soft
Corals

Dead
Corals

Dead
Corals
with
Algae

Total
( %)

Abiotics
Sand

Silt

Rock

Rubble

01
Start

N 13 36 47.8

E 121 18 39.3

End

N 13 36 49.3

E 121 18 36.4

Start
End

N 13 36 48.7
N 13 36 48.8

E 121 18 33.8
E 121 18 31.0

Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End

N 13 36 48.4
N 13 36 49.9
N 13 36 49.7
N 13 36 49.6
N 13 36 49.4
N 13 36 44.2
N 13 36 43.6
N 13 36 39.6
N 13 36 39.0
N 13 36 36.4
N 13 36 35.4
N 13 36 31.0

E 121 18 30.3
E 121 18 26.8
E 121 18 25.4
E 121 18 20.7
E 121 18 18.9
E 121 18 10.8
E 121 18 09.2
E 121 18 03.8
E 121 18 03.4
E 121 18 00.9
E 121 18 00.5
E 121 17 57.2

Start
End

N 13 36 30.3
N 13 36 25.8

Start
End

N 13 36 25.3
N 13 36 20.7

20

100

70

15

15

100

65

15

20

100

40

10

40

100

15

70

02

03
04
05
06
07
08

09

10

2.2-69

Good coral cover, dominant


live coral lifeforms are
tabulate and presence of
significant Acropora
branching coral recruits.
Good coral cover, dominant
live coral lifeforms are
Acropora branching corals
and presence of school of
surgeon fish.
Dominant are tabulate coral.
Dominant are tabulate coral.

10

Sandy bottom.
80
Rocky bottom.

30

90

10

100

40

20

10

100

10

100

20

20

30

20

E 121 17 56.0
E 121 17 54.0

10

10

50

30

E 121 17 52.8
E 121 17 49.4

40

30

20

Environmental Impact Statement

Remarks

Section 2.2.2 Marine

100

10

100

Dominant are tabulate coral


with school of Siganids.
Diverse fishes and presence
of significant Acropora coral
branching recruits.
School of surgeon fish and
presence
of
significant
Acropora coral branching
recruits.
School of Siganids and
presence
of
significant
Acropora
coral tabulate

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25

26
27

recruits.
Sandy bottom.

Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End
Start
End

N 13 36 20.1
N 13 36 14.9
N 13 36 07.9
N 13 36 04.9
N 13 36 04.3
N 13 36 03.3
N 13 36 02.8
N 13 36 01.7
N 13 35 59.8
N 13 35 58.0
N 13 35 56.9
N 13 35 55.6
N 13 35 54.3
N 13 35 52.9
N 13 35 52.1
N 13 35 51.8
N 13 35 52.1
N 13 35 51.5
N 13 35 51.6
N 13 35 52.3
N 13 36 02.8

E 121 17 48.5
E 121 17 45.2
E 121 17 40.8
E 121 17 36.6
E 121 17 35.3
E 121 17 32.7
E 121 17 30.9
E 121 17 27.3
E 121 17 24.2
E 121 17 20.0
E 121 17 17.8
E 121 17 13.8
E 121 17 12.8
E 121 17 07.8
E 121 17 04.4
E 121 16 59.4
E 121 16 58.4
E 121 16 56.7
E 121 16 55.6
E 121 16 52.0
E 121 17 30.9

N 13 35 59.8

E 121 17 24.2

15

N 13 35 56.9

E 121 17 17.8

15

N 13 35 54.3

E 121 17 12.8

N 13 35 52.1

E 121 17 04.4

70

Start
End
Start

N 13 35 52.1

E 121 16 58.4

2.2-70

Environmental Impact Statement

15

50

30

100

20

40

30

10

100

20

40

30

10

100

40

20

40

100

50

10

40

100

Crown-of-Thorns starfish (3)

Crown-of-Thorns (5)
Crown-of-Thorns (11)
25

40

35

100

10

30

60

100

10

50

40

100

20

70

100

30

60
30

20

15

35

15

Sandy bottom.
Sandy bottom.
20

20

100
100

Silted waters; rocks

30

20

100

Silted waters, rocks

25

10

100

1
Black
tip
shark
encountered
Sandy substrate in Bgy
Malabrigo
Inside
Malabrigo
fish
sanctuary;
surgeons;
Acropora and Millepora
Inside
Malabrigo
fish
sanctuary

40

100

100

20

10

100

60

30

10

100

30

30

20

100

20

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
28

Start

10

20

100

29

Start

50

100

Start

100

100

Boundary Bgy
and Bgy Suloc
Bgy Suloc

30
31

Start

100

100

Bgy Suloc

32

Start

100

100

Bgy Suloc

33

Start

100

100

Boundary Suloc-Sawang

34

Start

40

20

40

100

Bgy. Sawang

35

Start

40

20

40

100

36

Start

50

20

30

100

37

Start

30

20

20

30

100

38

Start

50

20

20

10

100

39

Start

35

30

10

15

100

Inside Sawang-Olo-olo Fish


Sanctuary
Outer reef of sanctuary

40

Start

30

30

40

100

Silted waters

41

Start

100

100

Towards Bgy Fabrica

42

Start

100

100

In front of mangroves

43

Start

100

100

Bgy. Lagadlarin

44

Start

100
99.5

River estuary

Mean values (in stations with corals)

32%
LHC

30
5

.30%
SFC

30

40

17.5
DC

10.0%
DCA

100
33%
Sand

5.7%
Rocks

1%
rubble

Status Category: Poor = 0 - 24.9; Fair = 25 - 49.9%; Good = 50 - 74.9%; Excellent = 75 - 100% (Gomez et al. 1981)
2.2-71

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Malabrigo

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
The three LIT stations for recording of detailed coral cover and benthic life form assessment inside the
proposed Malagundi Fish Sancturay, Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary and the Sawang-Olo-olo Fish
Sanctuary revealed an average live coral cover of 77% across all three stations (Table .2.2.20). Under
the standard categories employed for coral reef assessment, this ratio is classified as Excellent.
Station 2 the Malabrigo fish sanctuary hosted the highest live coral cover at 84%, followed by
Station 1 (proposed Malagundi fish sanctuary) at 76% live coral cover, and then Station 3 (SawangOlo-olo Fish Sanctuary) at 71% LHC. On the average, dead corals within the sanctuaries account for
only 18 % of total benthic life form cover, while abiotic components consisted of only 3.67 %. This
single factor the ratio of dead coral against live coral cover - can be used as a most suitable
indicator for comparing changes in coral reef configuration as a result of issues of anthropogenic
origin that can cause coral mortality. These figures also show that the fish sanctuaries where
established in high coral density areas. In contrast, a third of the bottom substrate outside of the
sanctuaries are covered with sand and rocks and coral colonization in these areas are discernably
suppressed.
Table 2.2.19 Overall results of Coral Reef Assessment using Line-Intercept Transect (LIT)
surveyed inside the proposed Malagundi Point Fish Sanctuary, Malabrigo Fish sanctuary and
the Sawang-Olo-olo Fish Sanctuary in Lobo, Batangas conducted on October 5, 2013.
Live Hard Coral
Transect
No:

Soft
Coral

Dead
Coral

Other
Fauna
(OT)

Abiotic

Total
(LHC)

Condition
category

1.60%

21.40%

0.20%

0.80%

76.00%

Excellent

14.20%

1.60%

84.20%

Excellent

8.60%

70.80%

Good

3.67%

77.00%

Excellent

Acropora

NonAcropora

01

63.60%

12.40%

02

78.00%

6.20%

03

61.40%

9.40%

2.80%

17.80%

AVERAGE

67.67%

9.33%

1.47%

17.80%

0.07%

Status Category: Poor = 0 - 24.9; Fair = 25 - 49.9%; Good = 50 - 74.9%; Excellent = 75 - 100%
(Gomez et al. 1981)
Across all stations, the coral life forms are dominated by Acropora branching types and Acropora
tabulate species (Table 2.2.15 and Figure 2.2.23). In fact, these two types of branching corals
accounted for more than 61% of all coral cover. In station 2 alone which had the highest live coral
cover, the Acropora branching species profusely dominated the coral community, accounting for 63.6
% of all coral species. The branching and tabulate types are some of the most fragile amongst coral
species and their presence in a significant numbers indicate that the branching corals inside the fish
sanctuaries seem to be undisturbed, even by boat anchors. On the other hand, dead corals and dead
corals with algae (DCA) accounted for 17.8 % across three stations. The highest dead coral (DC)
value was recorded in the proposed Malagundi fish sanctuary, at 17.4 %. Station 3, which is relatively
closer to the Lobo River estuary than the other 2 stations, is the only station that contained a fair
degree of sand and rocks, covering 9.4 % of the area surveyed.
Across the three stations, the Acropora branching corals are dominated by the species Acropora
palmate, occupying 35.13 % of all coral life forms. This is followed by the tabulate species Acropora
indonesia, which accounted for 26 % of all corals encountered in the transects. The non-Acropora
coral types were dominated by the massive species Porites daedata (3.33%) and the encrusting

2.2-72

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
species Porties vaughan. The lone soft coral species consisted of the rarely seen Tubipora sp.
Please see Plate 10, 11 and 12 for pictures of the said species.
Table 2.2.20 Distribution of major coral lifeforms by percentage/category obtained from
three LIT stations (to wit: proposed Malagundi Point Sanctuary, Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary
and Sawang-Olo-Olo Fish Sanctuary) in Lobo, Batangas on October 5, 2013.
CONDITION PER TRANSECT
LIFEFORM CATEGORIES
CODE
(in %)
1
2
3
Mean
Acropora

Coral Branching
Coral Encrusting
Coral Digitate
Tabulate
Total Acropora
Coral Branching
Encrusting
Massive
Sub-Massive
Total live coral cover

NonAcropora

Dead Coral
Dead Coral
with Algae
Other
Fauna

ACB
CE
ACD
ACT
CB
CE
CM
CS

30.20
1.00
2.40
30.00
63.6
1.60
3.00
4.40
3.40
76.0

DC
DCA

17.40
4.00

Halimeda species

HA

0.20

Soft Corals

SC

1.60

63.60

3.80
2.40
0
84.2

11.60
2.00
14.00
33.80
61.4
2.80
2.20
3.20
1.20
70.80

35.13
1.00
5.47
26.07
67.67
1.47
3.00
3.33
1.53
77.0

1.40
12.80

7.80
10.00

8.87
8.93

2.80

1.47

14.40
78

Abiotic

Rock
RCK
0.80
2.00
0.93
Rubble
R
0.40
0.13
Sand
S
5.40
1.80
Silt
SI
1.60
0.80
0.80
Total transect cover
100
100
100
100%
Status Category: Poor = 0 - 24.9; Fair = 25 - 49.9%; Good = 50 - 74.9%; Excellent = 75 - 100%
(Gomez et al. 1981)
Table 2.2.21 List of common species and average percentage live coral cover/species in three
LIT stations surveyed (proposed Malagundi Point Sanctuary, Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary, and
Sawang-Olo-Olo Fish Sanctuary) in Lobo, Batangas on October 5, 2013.
LIFEFORM CATEGORIES

Acropora

Non-Acropora

AVERAGE PERCENTAGE
LIVE CORAL COVER

SPECIES

Coral Branching
Coral Encrusting
Coral Digitate
Tabulate

Acropora palmate
Acropora palifera
Acropora humulus
Acropora indonesia

35.13 %
1.00 %
5.47 %
26.07 %

Coral Branching
Encrusting
Massive
Sub-Massive

Seriatopora species
Porites vaughan
Porites daedata
Porites lichen
Tubipora species

1.47 %
3.00 %
3.33 %
1.53%
1.47%
78.47 %

Soft Coral
Total live coral cover, including soft coral species)

Status Category: Poor = 0 - 24.9; Fair = 25 - 49.9%; Good = 50 - 74.9%; Excellent = 75 - 100% (Gomez et al. 1981).

2.2-73

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Coral damage caused ostensibly by destructive fishing methods are evidently old and the survey did
not encounter fresh dynamite or cyanide marks that can be attributed to fresh coral mortality even in
the areas outside of the protected sanctuaries. However, coral mortality caused by Crown-of-Thorns
starfish (Acanthaster sp) infestation appears to be increasing in three manta tow stations where a
total of 19 of the coral-eating starfish were encountered (Plate 2.2.4). The numbers indicate that the
COTs could be present in significant numbers outside of the tow paths as well. Settlement of coral
recruits were observed to be very prolific in almost all the manta tow pathways and LIT stations where
firm dead coral substrate occur.

Plate 2.2.10 Dead coral with algae (left) and crown-of-thorns starfish preying on coral polyps of
Acropora indonesia (right) in Lobo, Batangas. Picture taken on 05 October 2013 (R. Quimpo,
R. Pocon).

Plate 2.2.11 Branching coral Acropora palmate (left) and massive coral Lobophyllia corymbosa
(right). Picture taken on 05 October 2013, Lobo, Batangas (R. Pocon).
2.2-74

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Plate 2.2.12 Digitate coral Acropora humilis (left picture upper left corner) and birds nest
coral S. hystix (central portion); and table coral Acropora indonesia and the fire coral Millepora
(right picture). Taken of 05 October 103 in Lobo, Batangas (R. Quimpo).

Figure 2.2.23 Graph showing overall average percent distribution of corals in three (3) LineIntercept Transect (LIT) stations inside of the proposed Malagundi Point Fish Sanctuary,
Malabrigo Fish Sanctuary and Sawang-Olo-olo Fish Sanctuary, Lobo, Batangas, October 5,
2013.
2.2-75

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Figure 2.2.24 Graph of coral distribution by category and by FVC station 1-3.
LIT Survey Station No.:01 N 13 36' 49.2" E 121 18' 35.7"
LIT Survey Station No.:02 N 13 36' 30.6" E 121 15' 09.3"
LIT Survey Station No.:03 N 13 37' 43.1" E 121 13' 23.0

Figure 2.2.25 Results of coral reef assessment shown in pie graphs per station.
5.3 Reef-associated demersal fish species
2.2-76

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Fish visual census was undertaken in the 50-meter LIT transects in the same stations where line
intercept transects were laid out. Station 1, was established inside the vicinity of the proposed
Malagundi Point Fish sanctuary, station 2 was inside the Malabrigo Fish sanctuary and Station3
inside the Sawang-Olo-olo Fish Sanctuary. .
A total of 462 reef-associated fish individuals were counted in all three FVC stations, consisting of 39
reef-associated fish species, representing 17 families (Table 2.2.17 and Figure 2.2.26). Indicator
species consisted only of six (6) species while other species comprised a total of 21 species across
all stations. The highest fish abundance is attributed to Station 1 (Malagundi Point) which accounted
for 48 % of all fish individuals encountered, followed by Station 3 at 31% (Sawang-Olo-olo) and
Station 2 (Malabrigo) with 21 %. The fish abundance index seem to be inversely proportional with the
degree of live coral cover as it should be noted that in the coral LIT, Station 1 had the lowest live coral
cover among the three stations (and yet has the highest fish species count in the FVC); the highest
being Station 2 in Malabrigo which in this the case, had the lowest fish species count. The high fish
count in station 1 is due to the presence of a school of surgeonfish numbering 15 individuals and the
majority of all Damselfish encountered, with 110 individuals. These two species alone in Station 1
accounted for 27 % of fish abundance.
Table 2.2.22 Results of fish visual census in three line intercept stations in Lobo, Batangas,
October 5, 2013

FISH ABUNDANCE DATA FORM


Site Name: Brgy.

Municipality & Province: LOBO, Batangas

Transect 1-Malagundi point, Brgy. Balibago


Transect 2-Malabrigo Sanctuary
Transect
3-Ulo-ulo
Sanctuary
Depth(m):2-3
Date(mo./day/yr): 10/5/13
Time: 9am;1:00pm;3:00pm
Habitat notes:
Reef crest and slope

Observers: R. Quimpo

Horizontal Visibility(m):
Coordinates:
T1:
T3:

Angle of Slope:
T2:
T4:
Total # of
individuals

STATION

FAMILY/SPECIES NAME/ENGLISH NAME

T1
#of
ind

T2
Size
(cm)

#of
ind

T3
Size
(cm)

#of
ind

Size
(cm)

Acanthuridae (Surgeonfish)
Acanthurus nigricans :White cheek surgeonfish
Acanthurus nigricans :White cheek surgeonfish

10
15

15
12

10

Ctenocahetus striatus: striated surgeon fish

12

10

18
15
2

Apogonnidae (Cardinal fishes)


Apogon angustatus: Broadstriped cardinalfish

Apogon compressus: Ochre-striped cardinalfish

Ballistidae (Triggerfishes)
Balistapus undulatus:
Chaetodontadae (Butterflyfishes)
Chaetodon baronessa: Eastern triangular butterflyfish
Chaetodon baronessa: Eastern triangular butterflyfish
Chaetodon auriga: Threadfin butterflyfish
Henoichus varius: Horned bannerfish
2.2-77

Environmental Impact Statement

10
1

15

2
3
2
3

6
8
8
8

8
10

6
1

15

2
7
3
6
5

2
2

10
12

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Henoichus varius: Horned bannerfish
Forcipiger flavassimus; Longnose butterflyfish
Forcipiger flavassimus: Longnose butterflyfish
Chaetodon adiergastos: Philippine butterflyfish

Epinephelidae (Groupers)
Cephalopholis fulva:
Haemulidae(Sweetlips)
Plectorhinchus
sweetlips

chaetodonoides:

Harlequin

2
2
2
3

10
12
8
5

15

2
1
1
1
1
2
1

10
8
6
8
6
8
10

16

3
5

8
6

2
1
3

15
12
14

2
5
12
30
45
10
1
5
15
5

3
2

8
12

10

5
8
2
11

10

2
1

Labridae (wrasses)
Halichoeres hortulanus: checkboard wrasse
Halichoeres scapularis: zigzag wrasse
Labroides dimidiatus: Bluestreak cleaner wrasse
Bodianus mesothorax: Splitlevel hogfish
Halichoeres binotopsis:
Halichoeres binotopsis:
Halichoeres binotopsis:

14

3
5
4
3
3
2
1

4
2
2

10
5
10

12

20

15
25

10

Lutjanidae (Snapper fishes)


Lutjanus decussatus: Checkered snapper

Mullidae(Goat fishes)
Parupeneus barberinus; Dash-and-dot goatfish
Parupeneus barberinus; Dash-and-dot goatfish

12

Nemipteridae (Breams fishes)


Pentapodus emeryii: Double whiptail
Scolopsis bilineatus; Two-lined monocle bream
Scolopsis bilineatus; Two-lined monocle bream
Scolopsis ciliate; Saw-jawed monocle bream

12

6
4
5
3
3
4
6
9

12
10

3
3
3

Pomacentridae (Damselfish)
Amphiprion clarkii: Yellowtail clownfish
Chromis margaritifier:
Chromis weberi: Webers chromis
Pomacentrus mollucensis; Lemon damsel
Chromis alpha: Yellow speckled chromis
Chromis alpha; Yellow-speckeld chromis
Dasyllus albisella; Hawaiin dasyllus
Dasyllus albisella: Hawaiin dasyllus

25

10
16

3
4

45

10

10

18

12

3
15
28
55
90
10
6
9

Scaridae (parrotfish)
Scarus ghobban; Bluebarred parrotfish
Chlorurus surdidus: Daisy parrotfish

14

Scarus frenatus: Bridled parrotfish


Scarus dimidiatus; Yellow banned parrotfish

Siganidae (Rabbitfish)
Siganus guttatus; Orange-spotted spinefoot
Siganus spinus: Little spinefoot
Synodontidae (Lizardfish)
Synodus dermatogenys: Lizardfish
2.2-78

Environmental Impact Statement

12
6

10
6

12

12

22
5
1
12
6
6
2

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Sphyraenidae (Barracuda)
Sphyraena forsteri: Big-eye barracuda

30

1
1

10
12

12

2
224

2
97

10

Tetraodontidae (Pufferfish)
Arothron hispidus:
Arothron hispidus:

3
1

Zanclidae (Moorish idol)


Zanclus cornutus: Moorish Idol

Total # of individuals per transect


Species Richness

3
141

12

Total number of fish families


Total number of species
Total number of target species
Total number of indicator species
Total number of other species

7
462
17
39
12
6
21

Fish biomass was calculated using the formula, W=aL, W I weight (g), a is the condition factor (Pauly 1993), L
the estimated length (cm) and b the exponent (b<1). The specific constants a and b are referenced from Kulbicki
et a. (1993) and FISHBASE (2000).

With 21 species, the fish community in the study area is dominated by two major taxa of major/other
species - Pomacentridae or the Damselfishes with 216 individuals, Scaridae or the Parrotfishes with
48 fishes, followed by indicator species belonging to the family of Butterfly fishes or Chaetodontidae,
with 47 individuals. Together with other species from the major species category (e.g., Labrids,
Cardinal fishes) this group accounted for 68.4 % of the entire fish population encountered in the three
transects. Target species, mainly food fish of important value to fisheries, was comprised mainly of
51 individuals, most of which were of juvenile sizes. The surgeonfish dominated the target species
group (35 individuals). Considering the high value recorded for live hard corals, the fish abundance
index is quite low.

Figure 2.2.26 Distribution of fish abundance by transects station.

2.2-79

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Figure 2.2.27 Left: Mean density of fish by category across three FVC stations; Right: Mean
fish biomass by category across three FVC stations
On the whole, the overall assessment of the demersal fish profile of the area in front of MPSA is poor.
The low species richness and density in the reef flats inside and outside of the fish sanctuaries
indicates a declining fisheries productivity and these is vividly manifested in the presence of mostly
juvenile fishes and the low numbers of food fish species. The factors that contribute to this low
fisheries profile could be primarily be recruitment overfishing and the use of fine mesh nets. The
narrow fringing reef also limits the spatial capacity for fish abundance. Anecdotal accounts from
fishers in the area also confirm the absence of long-lived demersal fish species in the near shore
waters.

Comparative Abundance by Fish Families

250
200
150
100

216

50

35 18

47

21

40

48

12

Figure 2.2.28 Distribution of fish abundance by family in three FVC survey transects in Lobo,
Batangas; 05 October 2013 (Observer: Rowena Quimpo).
2.2-80

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
In view of the relatively small number of fishes
encountered in 3 transects, the mean fish
density across all three stations is low,
2
averaging .616 individuals/m with the other
species category having the highest density
2
value at .916 individuals/m , target species at
2
only .716 individuals/m and indicator species,
supposedly thriving robustly in excellent reef
2
cover, lowest at 3.48 kg/500m , with target
species biomass averaging only 1.46
2
kg/500m . This productivity value is low if
compared to standard estimates of fish
productivity of a square kilometer of healthy
coral reefs which is estimated to be in the
2
region of 10-15 MT/km .
Seagrass resources
With roots firmly embedded in sandy
Plate 2.2.13: Tube seagrass in Bgy. Olo-olo,
substrate Seagrasses are the true plants of
Lobo, Batangas
the sea and their resilience in tolerating a
wide range of stresses in the marine
environment is manifested in their perennial
presence even in silted waters. Seagrass meadows provide shelter to many species of fish and
invertebrates and the diversity of the seagrass beds in an area can be a contributing factor to the
recruitment of rabbit fishes, seahorses, sea cucumber, some species of shrimps, and the settlement
of mollusks, small cephalopods, crustaceans and associated epiphytes. Dense seagrass meadows
can create a barrier that subsequently decreases water currents while the seagrass roots and
rhizomes can help stabilize the seabed by sequestering and fastening sediments and silt onto the
bottom substrate.
The seagrass habitat stations studied in Lobo are located about 70 meters West of the coastline of
the central portion of Barangay Olo-olo. Drawing from the results of the broad area manta tow
surveys, this is the only site in 7 Barangays where seagrass occur. The seagrass meadows occupy
the inner tidal flat, consisting of two patches measuring approximately 1 to 1.5 hectares each. Due to
the relatively limited spatial distribution, the assessment reuired only two survey stations for the, with
data on seagrass species and percent cover collected from a series of 1m x 1m quadrats laid out on a
seagrass transect in each station.
Survey results showed that four (4) seagrass species are present in the study area dominated by the
seagrass species of Cymodocea rotundata (Ribbon Grass) at 39.75 % cover, and Syringodium
isoetifolium (Tube seagrass) with 39.5 % distribution (Plate 2.2.7). The seagrass beds are frequently
used by fishers in Bgy. Olo-olo to harvest benthic and epibenthic invertebrates, as well as bivalves.
The capture of rabbitfishes is also frequent in the meadows through hook and line fishing. However,
the Bantay Dagat and Barangay have allegedly banned the use of net fishing gears in the area to
protect the seagrass resources. Indeed, visual observation of the seagrass beds within the transect
survey stations indicate that only minor physical damage to the seagrass beds have been occurring.
Nevertheless, silted waters have begun to invade some patches and significant sediments attached to
the seagrass leaves were found in beds closer to the shoreline.
The data sets collected from the two stations revealed that Stations 1 exhibited four seagrass
species, namely Cymodocea rotundata, Syringodium isoetifolium, Thalassia hemprichii (sickle
2.2-81

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
seagrass) and a small quantity of Becarris spoon seagrass Halophilla becarri. Cymodecea sp
occupied 40.5 % of the meadow, Syringodium sp. at 30.5 %, while sand occupied some 14.5 % of the
community surveyed. Station 2 recorded only three species, dominated at 48.5 % by the tube
seagrass Syringodium isoetifolium.

Figure 2.2.29 Average cover of seagrass community (in percentage) in the coastal barangay of
Ulo-ulo, Lobo, Batangas City, October 6, 2013. (Observers: Victor L. Pantaleon and Ronald T.
Pocon).

Figure 2.2.30 Seagrass distribution in Transect No.:01 - Coordinates: N 13 37 49.9, E 121 13


10.6

2.2-82

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Figure 2.2.31 Seagrass distribution in Transect 2: Coordinates: N 13 37 48.6, E 121 13 05.5


5.5 Mangroves
Mangrove forests support many ecological functions that contribute to the productivity of the coastal
resource base. Mangroves export nutrients that sustain fish and crustacean food webs, particularly
for larval nursery and development in the lower base of the marine food chain. Additionally,
mangrove forests act as areas of natural entrapment of sediments that can pollute seawater and
disturb critical benthic habitats of fish. Healthy mangrove cover can directly promote fish population
replenishment and improves the natural processes that contribute to sediment trapping.
A wide swampy area behind the central coast of Bgy Lagadlarin and east of Bgy Olo-olo contained a
mixture of mangrove stands populated by a
total of seven (7) species of mangroves
dominated by the sturdy species Avecennia
marina (Bungalon; Table 2.2.18). A total of
three
(3)
assessment
quadrats
were
established to record data on mangrove
species distribution, height and crown cover of
every mangrove species within the 10m x 10m
quadrats.
The mangrove swamps are
perennially
A total of 112 trees were counted in the three
quadrats, with quadrat, 1 located in Bgy,
Lagadlarin, having the highest density of trees
at 53 per quadrat. Quadrats 2 and 3, located
contiguously in the mangrove swamp in Bgy.
Olo-olo, hosted 24 and 35 trees respectively
(Table 3.2.23). In all the sampling stations, the
2.2-83

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Plate 2.2.14: Mangrove survey in Bgy. Olo-olo

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
species Avecennia marina dominated the clumps, comprising 72% of all trees in Quadrat 1, 46.5% of
all trees in Quadrat 2, and 68.5% in Quadrat 3. Overall, A. marina occupied 66% of mangrove
patches across 3 stations. The rest of the trees enumerated consisted of the species Sonneratia alba
(Pagatpat), Rhizophora mucronata (Bakauan babae), Rhizopora apiculata (Bakauan lalake),
Avecennia alba (Bungalon Puti), Ceriops decandra (Malatangal), Rhizopora mucronata was the
second in density, consisting of 10% of all trees surveyed, followed by Sonneratia alba, occupying 8
% of the stations survyed. On the other hand, Luminitzera racemosa (kulasi). The latter 2 species
C. decandra and L. racemosa, consisted only of two trees each The survey observed evidence of
mangrove cutting in all three stations, although this does not seem to be significant. It was also noted
that households have settled on the beach fronting the mangrove swamp in Bgy. Lagadlarin.
Table 2.2.23 Results of mangrove assessment in three quadrats, Lobo, Batangas, 05 October
2013. (Enumerator: Rowena Quimpo)

Mangrove Habitat Assessment Data Sheet, Quadrat No. 1


Date: October 6. 2013
GPS Reading: N-13 37' 45.5''
Quadrat Tree
#1
#
10x10m
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
2.2-84

Location: Lagadlarin, Lobo, Batangas


E- 121 12' 10.0''

Species

Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)

Environmental Impact Statement

Ht.
(m)
5
4
3
2
3
1
1
2.8
4
1
1
1
2
2
4
6
5
3
2
2
1
3
3
3.5
1.5

Crown
Observations
Diameter (m)
Ave.
C.Cover
2.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.50
1.30
1.00
1.00
1.60
2.00
1.50
2.00
2.50
1.00
3.00
2.00
1.80
1.00
2.00
2.50
2.00
1.00
1.00
1.00
4.00

3.14
0.79
0.79
0.79
1.77
1.33
0.79
0.79
2.01
3.14
1.77
3.14
4.91
0.79
7.07
3.14
2.54
0.79
3.14
4.91
3.14
0.79
0.79
0.79
12.57

Section 2.2.2 Marine

5 seedlings

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53

Total

Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Ceriops decandra(Malatangal)
Ceriops decandra(Malatangal)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Avecennia alba(bungalon puti)
Luminitzera racemosa(kulasi)
Luminitzera racemosa(kulasi)
Rhizopora mucronata (bakhaw
babae)
Rhizopora mucronata (bakhaw
babae)
Rhizopora mucronata (bakhaw
babae)
Rhizopora apiculata (bakhaw lalaki)

53

3
3
4
6
5
5
2
3.5
5
3
2
2
3
2
3.5
4
3
5
3
4
3
4
3
3.5
5

2.00
1.50
3.00
2.00
2.00
2.00
1.00
2.00
3.00
1.20
1.00
1.00
1.00
1.50
1.50
2.50
1.00
2.00
1.30
2.00
1.00
2.00
1.00
2.00
2.00

3.14
1.77
7.07
3.14
3.14
3.14
0.79
3.14
7.07
1.13
0.79
0.79
0.79
1.77
1.77
4.91
0.79
3.14
1.33
3.14
0.79
3.14
0.79
3.14
3.14

1.00

0.79

2.00

3.14

3.00

7.07

169.3

140.29 5 seedlings

TOTAL CROWN COVER:


PERCENT CROWN COVER:

140.29
140.29/ (1 quadrat x 100 sq.m.) = 140.29 % ( Excellent crown
cover)
TOTAL HEIGHT OF ALL 169.3 m
TREES:
AVERAGE HEIGHT:
169.3/ 53 TREES = 3.194 meters (Fair)
Total Regeneration Count
Regeneration Per Square Meter =
Total Number of Regeneration Plots
5 Seedlings / 3Plots (3 plots per quadrat) = 1.666 Seedlings Per Square Meter
(Excellent regeneration per m)
2.2-85

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Quadrat No 2
Date: April 6, 2013
GPS Reading: N-13 37' 50.0''
Quadrat
#2
10x10m

Tree
#
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24

TOTAL

Location: Olo-olo, Lobo Batangas


E- 121 13' 20.2''

Species

Sonneratia alba(pagatpat)
Sonneratia alba(pagatpat)
Sonneratia alba(pagatpat)
Sonneratia alba(pagatpat)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Avecennia marina(bungalon)
Rhizophora mucronata
(bakawang babae)
Rhizophora mucronata
(bakawang babae)
Rhizophora mucronata
(bakawang babae)
Rhizophora mucronata
(bakawang babae)
Rhizophora mucronata
(bakawang babae)
Rhizophora apiculata
(bakawang lalaki)
Rhizophora apiculata
(bakawang lalaki)
Rhizophora apiculata
(bakawang lalaki)

24

TOTAL CROWN COVER:


PERCENT CROWN COVER:
TOTAL HEIGHT OF ALL TREES:
AVERAGE HEIGHT:

Ht.
(m)

Crown
Observations
Diameter (m)
Ave.
C.Cover

4
3
5
4
4
5
1
1
3
2
6
5
3
2.5
3
4
6

2.50
1.80
2.00
1.80
2.00
3.00
1.50
0.80
1.50
1.00
3.00
2.00
1.80
1.00
2.50
2.00
2.00

4.91
2.54
3.14
2.54
3.14
7.07
1.77
0.50
1.77
0.79
7.07
3.14
2.54
0.79
4.91
3.14
3.14

3.20

8.04

3.00

7.07

2.00

3.14

2.00

3.14

1.00

0.79

1.00

0.79

1.80

2.54

89.5

78.41

50 seedlings

50 seedlings

78.41
78.41/ (1 quadrat x 100 sq.m.) = 78.41% (Excellent crown cover)
89.5 m
89.5/ 24 TREES = 3.729 meters (Good average height of trees)
Total Regeneration Count

Regeneration Per Square Meter =


Total Number of Regeneration Plots
50 Seedlings / 3Plots (3 plots per quadrat) = 16.66 Seedlings Per Square Meter
(Excellent regeneration per m)
2.2-86

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Quadrat No. 3
Date: April 6, 2013
GPS Reading: N-13 37' 51.3''
Quadrat Tree
#3
#
10x10m
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

TOTAL
2.2-87

Location: Olo-olo, Lobo Batangas


E- 121 13' 20.4''

Species

Sonneratia alba (pagatpat)


Sonneratia alba (pagatpat)
Sonneratia alba (pagatpat)
Sonneratia alba (pagatpat)
Sonneratia alba (pagatpat)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Avecennia marina (bungalon)
Rhizophora mucronata (bakawang
babae)
Rhizophora mucronata (bakawang
babae)
Rhizophora apiculata (bakawang
lalaki)
Rhizophora apiculata (bakawang
lalaki)
Rhizophora apiculata (bakawang
lalaki)
Rhizophora mucronata(bakawang
babae)

35
Environmental Impact Statement

Ht.
(m)

Crown
Observations
Diameter (m)
Ave. C.Cover

6
5
4
4
7
5
4
6
4
3
4
2
4
5
3
2
1
2
1
2
4
4
6
5
2
3
4
3
5
5

3.00
2.00
2.00
2.50
3.00
3.00
3.00
3.00
2.00
1.00
3.00
3.00
3.00
3.00
1.80
1.00
1.00
1.50
0.90
1.00
2.00
2.50
4.00
3.00
1.00
1.80
2.00
1.00
2.00
25.00

7.07
3.14
3.14
4.91
7.07
7.07
7.07
7.07
3.14
0.79
7.07
7.07
7.07
7.07
2.54
0.79
0.79
1.77
0.64
0.79
3.14
4.91
12.57
7.07
0.79
2.54
3.14
0.79
3.14
490.88

1.00

0.79

3.00

7.07

2.80

6.16

3.00

7.07

3.50

9.62

140

113.73
Section 2.2.2 Marine

65 seedlings

65 seedlings

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

TOTAL CROWN COVER:


PERCENT CROWN COVER:
TOTAL HEIGHT OF ALL TREES:
AVERAGE HEIGHT:

113.73
113.73/ (1 quadrat x 100 sq.m.) = 113.73% (Excellent crown cover)
140 m
140/ 35 TREES = 4 meters (Good average height of trees)
Total Regeneration Count

Regeneration Per Square Meter =


Total Number of Regeneration Plots
65 Seedlings / 3Plots (3 plots per quadrat) = 21.666 Seedlings Per Square Meter
(Excellent regeneration per m)

Distribution of mangrove species in 3 quadrats


Avecennia
alba(bungalon puti)
6%
Luminitzera
racemosa(kulasi)
2%
Ceriops decandra
(Malatangal)
2%

Rhizophora
mucronata(bakawang
babae)
10%

Sonneratia
alba(Pagatpat)
8%

Rhizophora apiculata(
(bakawang lalaki)
6%

Avecennia
marina(bungalon)
66%

Figure 2.2.32 Mangrove species distribution across three survey stations in Bgys.
Lagadlarin and Olo-olo, Batnagas. October 5, 2013 (Enumerator: Rowena Quimpo)
Table 2.2.24 Distribution of mangroves by species across three quadrats surveyed in
Lobo, Batangas; 05 October 2013
Relative
Mangrove Species
distribution (%)
No. of trees
8
Sonneratia alba(Pagatpat)
9

2.2-88

Rhizophora mucronata (bakawang babae)

11

10

Rhizophora apiculata (bakawang lalaki)

Avecennia marina (bungalon)

74

66

Ceriops decandra (Malatangal)

Luminitzera racemosa (kulasi)

Avecennia alba (bungalon puti)

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
100%
Total
112
In all the stations surveyed, mangrove height was assessed to be ranging from Fair to Good, with the
lowest average height of 3.1 meters in Sation 1 and the highest in Station 2 at 4 meters. Crown cover
ranged from 78. 4% to 140% of the quadrats. The computed total crown cover for all species was
2
332.43 m . The rate is considered as excellent.
Seedlings and saplings (regenerations) were also noted during the assessment. Results showed that
the total regeneration count in the assessed mangrove sites ranged from 16 was 21 individuals within
the 9 regeneration plots (3 plots for every quadrat) surveyed. The computed regeneration for the
assessed mangrove site was 2 seedling regenerations per square meter. This rate is considered as
an Excellent recruitment level. While presence of crustacean resources was not encountered in the
survey plots, fishers in the area alleged that mud crabs and shellfish are being harvested occasionally
in the area.
Following the standard index for characterizing the condition of mangrove forests, the assessment
concludes that the mangroves in the surveyed area in Bgys. Lagadlarin and Olo-olo, Lobo, Batangas
can be classified as in Good to Excellent condition.
2.2.2.5 Commercially-important Macro-invertebrates
Macro-invertebrate surveys were undertaken through opportunistic observations and grab sampling in
random points along the coral transect lines, mangrove quadrats, and seagrass transects. A total of
six stations were surveyed, spread out in more than the long stretch of coastline between Bgy.
Balibago and Bgy. Lagadlarin. The objective of the survey is to determine whether significant
populations of macro-invertebrates that are gathered by the community either for food or trade exist in
the survey areas. The investigation was focused on the presence of valuable species epi-benthic and
infaunal bivalves especially in seagrass and mangrove areas. The substrates where the core
samples were collected consisted of sandy (beach front) and silt/muddy tidal flats where seagrasses
occur. Qualitative sampling was conducted by means of scuba diving in station 1 (coral reef) and
station 2 (seagrass) while for station 3 to 6 (mangrove) qualitative survey was conducted by core
sampling. Table 2.2.26 shows the list of macro-invertebrates found in six stations and images of this
species are shown in Figure 2.2.33.
A total of 21 genera of macro-invertebrates were found belonging to Poriferans (3 species),
Gastropod (7 species), Bivalve (8 species), Echinoderm (5 species) and Holuthorian (1 species). In
terms of species richness, station 1 randomly chosen in coral reef areas has the highest with 10
species followed by station 3 to 6 in the mangrove swamp with 6 species and station 2 in seagrass
bed with 5 species. It is important to note that blue sea stars (Linckia laevata) were observed at very
high numbers during the fish visual sensus. Based from FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery
Purposes, twelve (12) species encountered were noted to have a commercial importance and/or
considered edible. These are Anodontia sp.,Trachycardium sp, Paphiagallus sp, Gafrarium sp., Turbo
sp. Nerita sp., Conus sp1, Conus sp2, Cypraea sp., Cymatium sp., Salmacis belli and the spider shell
Lambis digita. In the coral reef stations, the presence of the coral-eating starfish the crown of thorns
(Acanthaster sp), was noted. Overall, this survey indicates a high biodiversity and population of the
macro-invertebrates found in three major ecosystems. Also, most of the species found were of
significant interest to fisheries. Other macro-invertebrates species not covered by the random
selection of sampling area stations could still be present as indicated by anecdotal accounts of local
fisher folks. Key informants claim that significantly important and lucrative macro-invertebrates will
include the native Mud Crab (Scylla olivaceous), sea urchins of the species Tripneustes gratilla, the
black holothurian Stichopus chloronotus (trepang or balatan), the benthic bivalve Pinna bicolor, and
the infaunal bivalve Solletelina sp which is found in mangrove swamps bordered by the Lobo River.
2.2-89

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
The yield from harvesting of these univalves and bivalves, however, has become increasingly smaller
in recent years due to intensive and non-selective exploitation
Table 2.2.25 List of benthic macroinvertebrate species found in six sampling stations covering
mangrove, seagrass and coral reef ecosystem in Lobo, Batangas during the Oct 3and 4, 2013
sampling

Station
1

3 to 6

2.2-90

Habitat
Coral

Group
Gastropod
Gastropod
Poriferan
Poriferan
Gastropod
Gastropod
Gastropod
Poriferan
Echinoderm

Gastropod
Seagrass
Echinoderm
Echinoderm
Holuthurian
Echinoderm
Echinoderm
Mangrove Bivalve
Gastropod
Bivalve
Bivalve
Bivalve
Gastropod

Environmental Impact Statement

Scientific Name
Cymatium sp.
Turbo sp.
Sponge sp.1
Sponge sp2
Conus sp1
Conus sp2
Cyparaea sp.
Axinella sp
Acanthaster sp (crown-ofthorns)
Lambis digitata

Protoreasternodusus
Salmacis belli
Synapta sp.
Echinotrix sp.
Linckia laevata
Anodontia sp.
Nerita sp.
Paphiagallus
Trachycardium sp.
Gafrafrium sp.
Callapa sp

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Anodontia sp.

Gafrarium sp.

Trachycardium sp.

Conus sp1.

Conus sp2.

Cypraea sp.

Turbo sp.

Nerita sp.

Protoreaster nodusos

Echinotrix sp.

Synapta sp.

Salmacis belli.

Cymatium sp.
Axinella sp.
Linckia laevata
Figure 2.2.33 Images of different macro-invertebrates found in six station in Lobo, Batangas
during the October 3-4, 2013 sampling; (Researcher: Garry Benico).
2.2.2.6 Plankton
2.2.2.7 Zooplankton communities
A total of nineteen zooplankton groups (adult and larval forms) were identified from the six stations
combined. Zooplankton observed consisted of adult stage (48-71%) and larval stage (29-52%) (Figure
2.2.29). A large percentage of the adult zooplanktons were comprised of foraminiferans and cyclopoids,
3
3
with maximum density of 1,600 individuals/m and 867 ind/m ). Larval forms were dominated by nauplius
3.
and copepodite with maximum density of 3,466 ind/m The highest zooplankton density counted were
observed in water samples taken from Station 4 and 2 while fewer counts were encountered in Station 1
(river) and Station 6. Other important groups like fish larvae, gastropod veliger, bivalve veliger were only
3
observed at very low abundance (33-67 individuals/m ) in most of the stations during the sampling period.
The low number in these larval forms could possibly indicating low recruitment capacity which possibly
caused by high water turbidity. The mean estimates of abundance ranged from 257 to 600
3
individuals/m among stations with a mean of 429. Species diversity based on computed ShannonWeiner Diversity index ranges from 1.47 to 2.01.

2.2-91

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Figure 2.2.34 Percentage composition of Adult and Larval Zooplankton stage in Lobo,
Batangas during the October 5, 2013 sampling.

Figure 2.2.35 Mean density of zooplankton groups identified in Lobo, Batangas during the
October 3, 2013 sampling.

2.2-92

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Figure 2.2.36 Photomicrograph of common zooplankton group identified in Lobo, Batangas


during the October 3, 2013 sampling (A) Foraminiferan (B) Cyclopoid copepod (C) Nauplius

2.2.2.8 Phytoplankton Communities


A total of 32 phytoplankton species were identified across the six sampling stations. They were
dominated by the diatoms which comprised 99% of the phytoplankton community (Figure 2.2.31).
Among the diatoms, the genus Skeletonema attributed for a significant number, accounting for 53% for
the six stations, followed and Chaetoceros at 15% and Thalassionema at 12%. The highest Skeletonema
cell density was observed in station 1 and 4 with 5,783 cells/L and 4,509 cells/L respectively. A total of
5,898 phytoplankton organisms were counted from all the stations combined. Dinoflagellates and
Cyanophytes only accounts for less than 1% of the phytoplankton community. Cyanophytes are mostly
represented by the species Trichodesmium.
The estimates of the mean abundance of phytoplankton ranged from 68 to1,115 cells/L with the
highest mean cell density observed in Station 4 while the lowest is in Station 1. The cell densities
observed in the area were still relatively high especially Skeletonema, Chaetoceros and
Thalassionema which could possibly indicate an external source of nutrient input i.e., domestic,
agricultural or industrial.
The computed index of species diversity (H) for the phytoplankton community across all stations
ranged from 1.01 to 2.1, with the highest observed at Station 6 and lowest in Station 1. The low
diversity index observed in Station 1 (near river) could be attributed to the turbid water observed in the
station which impedes photosynthetic activity resulting to low cell count and number of species.

2.2-93

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
The plankton data obtained during the sampling period provides a snapshot of overall status of the
plankton community in the area. Species diversity and abundance is still relatively high in most
sampling stations. High abundance of non-toxic chain-forming diatoms like Skeletonema,
Chaetoceros and Thalassionema contributes a significant component of the food chain, especially in
the production of primary organic material. However, excessive diatom blooms commonly observe in
bodies of water with low water exchange and residence times, are also harmful but this was not
observe in coastal water of Lobo, Batangas. The only potentially harmful micro-algal species found in
the river are Pseudonitzschia spp.as some of the species in this genus are known to produce toxin
associated with Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (Bates et al 1995). Nonetheless, the cell density of this
species was relatively low but still needs to be monitored in the future. Overall, in terms of species
richness and abundance, the present plankton communities in the project area are relatively high but
signify normal levels of these organisms in the sea.

Figure 2.2.37 Percentage composition of different phytoplankton groups in coastal water of Lobo,
Batangas during the October 3, 2013 sampling.

2.2-94

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas

Figure 2.2.38 Mean density of major phytoplankton genera identified in Lobo, Batangas during
the October 3, 2013 sampling.

Figure 2.2.39 Photomicrograph of some of the phytoplankton identified in Lobo, Batangas


during the October 3, 2013 sampling (A) Skeletonema (B) Chaetoceros (C) Thalassionema (D)
Pseudonitzschia

2.2-95

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
2.2.2.9 Fisheries
The Verde Island Passage is known for its pelagic fisheries consisting of large species of tuna and
tuna-like species. Before production dwindled, lucrative reef-dwelling demersal species also
consisted a significant part of the overall fishing industry, supplying the tourism market with high-value
species such groupers and emperors. The rapid appraisal consisted mainly of key informant
interviews with fishers and staff of the Municipal Agriculture Office and the Bantay Dagat to determine
(i) fishing gears used, (ii) catch composition, (iii) catch rates, and (iv) issues affecting fisheries. .
Both demersal and pelagic fishing practices occur in Lobo. Demersal fishing gears target reefdwelling lucrative species of fish in the extensive reef areas in the coastline of at least four Barangays
surveyed. The dominant gear is hook and line, traps and spear. Pelagic fishing gears are being
used to catch large tuna and tuna-like species of fish plying the Passage utilizing gill nets, hook and
line and small ring nest. Shore fishing is undertaken through the use of the controversial Beach Seine
(Baling). Smaller fishing crafts use nets to catch small pelagic species in nearshore waters, with
fishing grounds located about 1 to 2 kilometers offshore. The Bantay Dagat of Lobo claims that catch
rates have dwindled, allegedly due to migrant fishers using large nets and strong lights in previous
years but also admits that the numbers of local fishers have swelled. The manta tow surveys
however, revealed that over the last decade or so, destructive fishing practices, largely through the
use of dynamite and cyanide, as well as excessive fishing capacity exacerbated by the entry of
commercial and migrant fishing fleets, have negatively affected fish population recruitment and catch
rates have declined seriously over the last ten years. At the present time, Barangay officials and key
informants alleged in order to catch a profitable quantity, fishers have to travel farther out into the
Passage during known migratory season of large pelagic fishes, some 2 to 3 hours by motorized boat
from the Malabrigo. These offshore fishing grounds are mostly for hook and line fishing to capture
large pelagic species of Tuna, Dolphinfish, Spanish Mackerel and Frigate mackerel. Small
commercial fishing vessels from Batangas City, on the other hand, compete for schools of roundscad
(Decapterus spp.) and mackerels (Rastrelliger sp.).
Actual observations indicate that the top three fishing gears are (i) gillnet, (ii) hook and line, and (iii)
fish pot. The species composition of the municipal fisheries is enumerated in Table 2.2.27 below:
Table 2.2.26 List of fish species caught in the nearshore and offshore waters of Lobo,
Batangas
English name
Local common name
Scientific name
Scomberomorus commerson
Spanish mackerel
Tanguinge
Sphyraena jello
Barracuda
Torcillo
Siganus spp
Siganids
Samaral
Katsuwonus pelamis
Skipkack Tuna
Golyasan
Selar boops
Oxeye scad
Matang baka
Acanthurus olivaceus
Orange spotted surgeonfish
Labridae
Wrasse
Molmol
Letrinus spp
Emperors
Bisugo
Elagatis bipinulatus
Rainbow runner
Salmon
Auxis thazard
Frigate mackerel
Tulingan
Rastrelliger brachysoma
Short bodied mackerel
Hasa-hasa
Decapterus macrosoma
Roundscad
Galungong

2.2-96

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Anecdotal accounts reveal that the the catch rate is
low, at less than 2 kg per fisher per day for demersal
species consisting mostly of juvenile sizes and 20-30
kg per fishing boat per day for large pelagic species
where one fishing boat shares 4-5 fishers.
2.2.2.10 Prognosis from overall survey
impressions
Current and future condition of the coral reefs and
associated benthic life forms
As the present survey did not reveal the continuing
practice of blast fishing and the use of nets that
scrape the seabed, the overall survey impression
indicates that ecological integrity and condition of
coral reefs and seagrass beds, as well as the
mangrove communities will likely improve over time. Over the long term however, it is evident that
there is a need to further improve, and thereafter maintain the integrity and resilience of the broader
components of coastal ecosystem in the villages fronting the MPSA as these are essential in nurturing
fish stock growth, maturation and recruitment. The key is to increase fisheries productivity, in terms of
diversity, catch rates and subsequently, profitability. While recruitment of corals is happening where
substrates are firm and free from thick silt loads, the degree of restoration of ecosystem functions will
certainly take a long time and efforts to conserve ecological niches where growth, reproduction and
recruitment can take place undisturbed, is of primary consideration.
The overall result of the assessments indicates that the primary coastal area in seven Barangays
surveyed in Lobo, Batangas hosts a diverse array of coastal habitats and resources that have strong
indications of recovery. Even as the coral reef community outside of the fish sanctuaries and
associated seagrass beds have been impaired due to previous damaging fishing practices that have
caused extensive loss of benthic habitats, the presence of coral recruits in almost areas observed
along the survey pathways reveal a robust natural restoration. The fish sanctuaries evidently function
as effective sources of propagules in this regard. One primary factor that contributes to this is the fact
that Lobo municipality has been included in a long-running coastal conservation program of
Conservation International and current efforts on enforcing fishery laws are effective. At the current
time, the municipality is again included as a focal area of the USAID-funded Ecosystems Improved for
Sustainable Fisheries, or the ECOFISH Project.
Mangroves are in a relatively healthy state but their distribution is sparse as mangrove resources are
not present in significant distribution in all the Barangays but exist only in an extensive swamp with
clumps of Nipa in two Barangays. Although there are signs of disturbance, albeit minimal, the
regeneration factor estimated during the survey also indicates that the mangrove forests will thrive in
the future if conversion into other land uses and cutting of trees remain minimal. Their contribution to
coastal fisheries productivity as nursery grounds for many species of fish and crustaceans and in the
export of nutrients that feed the lower base of the marine food chain can remain robust and can
contribute significantly to fish population recruitment.
Yields from small-scale fisheries, as well as size and species composition, are deteriorating but the
harvest from artisanal set nets still supply important fish food for coastal households. Gleaning for
edible shellfish is being undertaken in the inter-tidal areas fronting most of the villages but the yields
have been progressively declining over the years due to overharvesting. One notable issue however,
is that efforts to mitigate siltation and marine pollution needs to be squarely addressed but the current
2.2-97

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
point sources of sediments can be extremely difficult to manage. Along this line, it is evident that the
further use of illegal fishing practices, as well as the issue of siltation, are major issues that needs to
be addressed. Any improvement over time needs to be comparatively evaluated through consistent
coral reef monitoring and fish visual census to determine coral mortality as a result of anthropogenic
sediment intrusion.
The plankton survey revealed that the coastal waters in the study areas are free from toxic algal
species and the proliferation of plankton species that are known to trigger harmful algal blooms are
almost nil and currently does not pose a risk capable of enhancing algal blooms. The plankton
community in the area appears to remain stable but the history of red tide episodes in the Verde
Island Passage that HAB-causing organisms need to be constantly monitored in sampling stations
and in bivalves where biotoxin levels can be detected. However, algal blooms are natural
phenomenon and can be influenced by a number of factors. These include cultural eutrophication and
hyper-nutrient loading from domestic wastes, unusual climatological conditions and transport of
dinoflagellates through ballast waters and transfer of shellfish stocks, among others. Harmful algal
blooms occur in some locations because of entirely natural reasons, while other HAB events occur as
a result of human activities. While progressive research on the precise triggers of algal blooms have
provided much needed information, the need to understand some basic causes and subsequently,
adoption of precautionary measures are recommended.
2.2.2.11 Presence of pollution indicator species
Corals Corals thrive well in clear waters as their symbiotic relationship with a host algae requires
that sustained sunlight penetration for food production. In this aspect, coral reefs are therefore
sensitive to turbid waters that can be brought about by the introduction of sediment plumes. Based
on observations of DCA values across all four coral reef assessment stations undertaken in the
survey, silt pollution in the project site and contiguous coastal environs is occurring but these have not
reached extreme proportions to cause widespread coral polyp mortality. The correlation of sediment
intrusion and coral suffocation can therefore be a valuable analogy for determining impacts of projectinduced silt and sediment pollution in coastal waters. It should be noted however, that the coral reef
population in Lobo includes some species listed as vulnerable by the IUCN. These include Acropora
indonesia, Acropora palmate and Seriatopora sp.
Bivalves and fish species Microscopic phytoplankton and zooplankton supports the complex lower
base of the marine food chain and their niche in the marine environment fuels productivity and
diversity, and sustains fish and shellfish recruitment. Microscopic algae or phytoplankton form the
base of the food web upon which most marine organisms depend; including most edible bivalves and
fish in their early life stages. Bivalves have been used to determine biotoxin levels that can be
harmful to humans if they are consumed indiscriminately. The bivalves in the general vicinity of the
study area can therefore be used to determine biotoxin contamination in seawater. Marine fish
species have not been used as indicators of pollution, except where biotixins are involved (e.g.
plankton-filtering fish species in PSP-affected areas such as Anchovies). On the contrary, some
species of fish have been used as indicators of a relatively good coral reef habitat and its ecosystem
functions. In the case of the coastal area fronting the survey site, species of the butterfly fish
Chaetodontidae have been recorded in the present survey, as well as another indicator species the
Moorish Idol. These animals are characteristically indicative of a bio-diverse marine environment.
The loss of these species over time will, on the other hand, is indicative of a degrading benthic
ecosystem. Periodic fish visual census in the reefs fronting the project site can be adopted as a
useful tool in measuring any negative impacts on fish indicator species.
Plankton Records show that the occurrence of HABs in the Philippines has been associated with
the onset of the southwest monsoon but there has been very little evidence attributing warm thermal
plumes as a primary and sudden trigger of HABs. In many cases, increased nutrient loading through
2.2-98

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
sediment transport has been observed to be a more likely pathway for occurrence of HABs in coastal
areas if the suspended organic matter (OM) causes hyper-nutrient levels and euthrophication. The
pollution of coastal waters, as well as occurrence of excessive sedimentation are believed to stimulate
bursts in populations of microscopic and macroscopic algae as various pollution-supplied substances
fertilize the water column and bottom substrate and provide the nutrients that trigger algal bloom
proportions. Because of this, harmful or toxic algal species become more abundant and more
noticeable. Currently, the densities of plankton groups observed in the coastal area within the vicinity
of the project site do not indicate proportions that can cause the occurrence of HABs. Nevertheless,
constant monitoring of the cell counts of bio-toxin carrying species needs to be undertaken.
2.2.2.12 Threats to existence or loss of important habitats of local species
Coral reefs and associated demersal fisheries
Illegal fishing practices, such as the use of explosive devices and poisons derived from natural
sources to capture live fish (e.g., Tubli) remain as potential threats to the continued restoration of
coral reef colonies and its associated fish population. Seagrass meadows can be damaged if drag
nets will be used to catch Siganids and crustaceans in the seagrass beds in Bgys. Olo-olo and
Lagadlarin. Accelerated and excessive erosion will lead to coral polyp suffocation if silt and sediment
streams reach coastal waters as a result of poor containment measures. It should be noted that such
measures are not being instituted at the present time. Depending on current streams and density of
sediments, soils and silted plumes of run-off water can be deposited in the different segments of the
receiving body of water, including in coral reefs found to be in relatively good condition in the fish
sanctuaries. If erosion from point sources will not be controlled effectively, the effect will be
progressive siltation and impairment of coastal water integrity and invasion of reef and seagrass
habitats. The deterioration of water quality will be basically induced by increasing turbidity as
sediments get sequestered in the water column or get stirred up by strong wave action. The resultant
decrease in photosynthetic function and primary production can have far reaching impacts on
fisheries reproductive morphology, decreased reproductive output, shortened larval duration and
subsequently, low larval recruitment and survival.
The issue of overfishing will be difficult to address unless alternative and supplementary sources of
income for coastal communities can be enabled. Intensifying eco-tourism, with inclusive benefits, can
be a major vehicle to achieve improvements in rural income over time.
Macro-invertebrates utilized for food and supplementary incomes
Any serious alteration of the inter-tidal shoreline due to conversion or establishment of physical
facilities for tourism, small boat docking and industrial facilities in the future can lead to the loss of
habitats for mollusks. If contaminated by land-based pollutants, the damage to the population of
bivalves and other edible shellfish can be far reaching and a decrease in the population of such edible
mollusks can be significantly accelerated.
Seagrass
The expansion of seagrass settlement in the shallow portions of the sea in front of Bgy. Olo-olo can
be discouraged and be prevented if sediment intrusion becomes extreme and the benthic substrate is
blanketed by loose silt. Likewise, marine pollution from shipboard wastes and domestic wastes
potentially enhanced by increasing domestic wastewater can act as a major cause for die-out of some
algae species. Pollution causes euthrophication or the loss of oxygen through excessive algal blooms
which in turn causes the seagrass and algal communities to wilt over long periods of exposure to such
anoxic conditions.
2.2-99

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
The summary matrices of Impacts and mitigating measures for the marine environment are shown in
Table 2.2.27 and 2.2.28.
Table 2.2.27 Summary Table of Mitigating measures: Construction Phase
Activity

Impacts

Possible environmental
outcome

Construction
works and
earthmoving

Silt plumes carried


through streambeds
and natural waterways
may end up in coastal
waters and
contaminate coral
reefs and seagrass
beds

Loss of portions of the


coral reef habitat that
nurture fisheries and
biodiversity values

Mitigation and management


measures/initiatives to
restore and enhance
ecosystem function
Construction of drainage
system and Installation of
sediment control structures
that include sediment filters.
Stabilization of all possible
pathways of fugitive
sediments and silt plumes.

Physical damage to
coral colonies

Silt, wastes embedded


in sea bottom may get
re-suspended
temporarily

Noise pollution can be


carried way beyond
the construction area

Annual coral reef monitoring


and fish visual census will
be undertaken to determine
changes in distribution and
abundance and to pinpoint
pathways of stressors.
Silt entrapment mechanisms
will be adopted in order to
prevent sediments and silt
from blanketing coral reef
areas.

Increased turbidity where


some sediments may
settle into coral colonies
and suffocate polyps
leading to additional
mortality

Altered fish population


structure as some species
will seek to evade areas
of noise generation; loss
of fisheries productivity

Advocacy for reforestation in


the upland zones and
watersheds will be
supported by the Project
Insignificant due to distance
to the Bay.

Summary of Mitigating Measures: Operations Phase


Table 2.2.28 Summary Matrix of Mitigation Measures: Operations Phase
Impacts
Possible environmental
Mitigation and management
outcome
measures/initiatives to
restore and enhance
ecosystem function
Increased
Contamination of
Marine pollution if
Waste management in all
human
coastal waters with
domestic wastewaters
aspects of project operation
inhabitation of
domestic wastewater
reach coastal sea leading will be implemented
the coastal
from mine facilities;
to loss of fish and
forcefully.
zones land-sea
invertebrate habitats
interface
Potential increase in
Human traffic in inter-tidal
domestic wastes
area will be restricted and
managed to ensure very
little disturbance to natural
processes.
Activity

2.2-100

Environmental Impact Statement

Section 2.2.2 Marine

Proposed Gold Mining Operations Project under Lobo MPSA 176-2002-IV


Egerton Gold Phils,. Inc.
Municipality of Lobo, Province of Batangas
Fugitive organic
wastes, intensified by
municipal wastewaters
can trigger algal
blooms

Alteration of
inter-tidal zone
if structures to
further
accommodate
human and
cargo access by
sea
(Minor concern)

Increase sea
vessel traffic

Disruption to benthic
and infaunal
population of molluscs

PSP in shellfish
populations and health
hazards to consumers

HAB monitoring will be


undertaken periodically.
All drainage water shall be
filtered through a series of
sediment reduction
mechanisms.

Loss of commercially
important
macroinvertebrate/bivalve
stocks

Collaboration with the


municipal government to
enable adoption of clean
practices and domestic
waste management.
A focal conservation zone in
the inter-tidal area with
adequate tidal movement
and replenishment will be
declared.
Shellfish populations will be
monitored for potential
enhancement of stocks.

Oil and grease


contamination in
coastal waters
especially in dock
area;

Slicks may reach coral


reefs leading to loss of
species and associated
demersal fish

No permanent structures will


be built in sensitive areas
where bivalves are
assessed to reproduce.
Implementation of oil and
grease recovery system;
Implementation of clean
practices;
Prohibition of bilge water
dumping when ships are
docked.

Potential oil pollution

The berthing docks will be


located way past the coral
slope.
Policy of no shipboard
waste disposal will be
enforced.

Inadvertent
introduction of exotic
species through
disposal of ballast
water

2.2-101

Environmental Impact Statement

Alteration of the marine


species thophic level;
potential loss of key prey

An oil spill mitigating plan


(part of the disaster risk
reduction and mitigation
program) will be adopted
Clear and forceful policy on
management of ballast
water discharge supported
by monitoring schemes

Section 2.2.2 Marine