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Keywords:

  • Cebu;
  • stony corals;
  • Pocillopora verrucosa;
  • natural mortality;
  • fishing mortality;
  • maximum sustainable yield;
  • resource management

Abstract. The Philippines is generally accepted to be the center of the international trade of stony corals for ornamental use. Despite existing legal bans on the collection and export of stony corals in the Philippines, the coral trade continues to date, particularly in Cebu. This paper reports on the specific market demand for stony corals in Cebu and the effects of commercial collection based on the results of a quantitative study of two shallow coral reef areas subjected to large differences in collection effort. Comparison of the measured coral community parameters suggests selective population changes and reduced abundance of exploited coral populations as a result of commercial collection. Estimates of the natural mortality, fishing mortality and yield are presented for the two sampled populations of Pocillopora verrucosa, utilizing the method of GRIGG (1976). Based on the study results and a review of reported coral growth rates and coral colony size at reproductive maturity, the potential for resource management of stony corals on a sustainable yield basis is - discussed.