Guimaras Strait

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Coordinates: 10°45′N 122°50′E / 10.750°N 122.833°E / 10.750; 122.833
Guimaras Strait
Bacolod - Guimaras Strait.jpg
Guimaras Strait at Bacolod
Country Philippines
Region Western Visayas
Coordinates 10°45′N 122°50′E / 10.750°N 122.833°E / 10.750; 122.833
Length 95 km (59 mi), N-S
Width 15 km (9 mi), E-W

Guimaras Strait is a body of water in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, connecting the Visayan Sea with the Panay Gulf and Sulu Sea beyond. To the north and west are Panay and Guimaras Islands, while Negros Island is to the south and east.[1] Bacolod City is a major seaport on the strait, which also provides access to the Port of Iloilo City via the Iloilo Strait.

The Guimaras Strait is an important fishing ground in the Philippines, having an average of annual fish production of 50,000 metric tons. The northern part is particularly known for blue crab, a top export commodity. Other species present in the strait include barracuda, cavalla, clams, cockles, crevalle, dolphin, flounders, flying fish, fusilies, glassfish, goatfish, goby, grouper, jacks, jelly fish, lizard fish, marine turtle, milkffish, mojarra, moonfish, moray, mullets, mussels, scallops, oysters, perchlet, scads, sea bass, sea catfish, sea cucumber, sea perches, sea urchins, seaweeds, shads, sickle fish, siganids, sillago, slipmouth, snappers, spade fish, sponges, surgeon fish, threadfin, and wrasses.[2][3]

The Guimaras oil spill, that occurred in the Panay Gulf on August 11, 2006, has severely affected the fishing industry. During this spill, considered Philippines' worst, the oil tanker M/T Solar 1 sank during a violent storm, spilling some 500,000 litres (110,000 imp gal; 130,000 US gal) of oil which formed an oil slick that drifted through the strait.[4][5] This spill followed another one in December 2005, when a passenger ship ran aground in the strait. It spilled 360,000 litres (79,000 imp gal; 95,000 US gal) of fuel oil, polluting some 40 kilometres (25 mi) of coastline and 230 hectares (570 acres) of virgin mangrove forests.[6]

Besides these oil spills, the ecosystems of the Guimaras Strait also suffer from rapid coastal development and overfishing. Increased urban populations and transportation are causing anthropogenic pressures,[7] while gillnet fishing has exceeded the maximum sustainable yield since 1999.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Quick Facts". Province of Guimaras. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Melchor F. Cichon (13 September 2006). "Guimaras Strait: Focusing on Fish Production". Fisheries Librarian. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Community-Based Resource Management and Food Security of the Northern Guimaras Strait". WWF Philippines. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Sarah Toms (15 August 2006). "Oil spill threatens Philippines". BBC News. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Alimen, Rolando A.; Alimen, Cecilia D. (17 January 2013). "The After Effects of Oil Spill in Guimaras, Philippines". IAMURE International Journal of Marine Ecology 1 (1). doi:10.7718/iamure.ijme.v1i1.338. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "The PALSAR image of the heavy oil spill area, caused by a sunken tanker on August11, off Negros Island of the Philippines, in the Guimaras Strait (Observed on August 25)". PALSAR Project. ERSDAC. September 1, 2006. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Guimaras Strait and surrounding coastal zone, Western Visayas PHILIPPINES". Study Sites. CECAM Project. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Philippine Blue Swimming Crab Fishery Improvement Project". Sustainable Fisheries Partnership. April 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013.