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Some Economically Important Bivalves and Gastropods found in the Island of Hadji Panglima Tahil, in the province of Sulu, Philippines

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Biological Sciences,College of Science and Mathematics, MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, Iligan City
  • 2 Mindanao State University- Jolo, SULU

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 2, Issue (7), Pages 30-36, July,10 (2013)

Abstract

The Philippines is a haven of a rich diversity of marine organisms. Unraveling this diversity had posed a tremendous challenge. The existing security threat in some areas of the archipelago had led to a dearth of information with regard to the diversity of organisms especially the islands located in the province of Sulu. Marine mollusc studies are still among those that are overseen by many researchers. To date, there is still a lack of basic information such as diversity and species checklist that make it impossible to assess the rate of population lost among existing marine molluscs. There is no published information on the actual number of marine shelled molluscan species in the area. This work assessed, described and identified some economically important molluscs in the island of Hadji Panglima Tahil, in the province of Sulu, Philippines. There were a total of 18 molluscs (marine bivalves & gastropods) species found and identified in the island. The molluscs served as food, ornaments and as source of livelihood by residents in the area, which is separated by sea from Jolo, the capital municipality of the province. The natives of the island depended mainly on fishing and hunting of molluscs found along the seashore. Geographically, the northwestern part of the area is strategically enclosed, making it undisturbed by strong waves while, the eastern portion facing Jolo, is more exposed to strong waves that created an advantage by pushing the organisms thriving in the deeper coral regions towards the seashore hence, affording opportunities for more consumption by the people. The molluscs’ meat were valuable and the shells itself are of equal importance to many shell dealers in the town of Jolo or in the nearby business hub, Zamboanga City. Habitats ranged from pristine waters in the northwestern portion of the island to disturbed waters in the eastern part attributed by anthropogenic activities in the area. It was noted that the most dominant species found was Mercenaria mercinaria, which thrived in the northwestern part of the island. This seashell is often found in Jolo market daily and other nearby municipalities like Maimbung and Siasi. At present, the residents in the area are still capable of sustaining the survival of these organisms. However, due to inevitable increase in commercial demand and overexploitation it may result to a possible depletion of these resources. Hence, they should be equipped with the proper scientific knowledge on the preservation and conservation of such organisms.

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