Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Feature Research | Isabela State University undertakes various researches on the conservation of indigenous fish species endemic to Northern Luzon.

The fish in discussion is the lobed river mullet (Cestraeus spp.) or commonly known to the fisherfolks of Luzon as the “Ludong“.

The research study of the University thru its Cagayan Valley Freshwater Fisheries Center (CVFFC) made through the compilation of studies in the book called “Mullet and its Aquaculture” edited by Chiu Liao and Eduardo M. Leaño. The book gathers the studies of Isabela State University, published together with World Aquaculture Society, National Taiwan Ocean University, Asian Fisheries Society, and the Fisheries Society of Taiwan.

In Chapter 7 of the book, Dr. Isagani P. Angeles of ISU- CVFFC discusses with co-authors the “Seasonal Migration and Fishering Technologies of Lobbed River Mullet “Ludong” in Cagayan River, Philippines.

Abstract of the Study (Chapter 7)

This chapter presents established benchmark information on the seasonal migration of lobed river mullet (Cestraeus spp.), locally known as “ludong”, and the fishing technology employed as basis for the conservation and management plan to abate the negative impact of overfishing in Cagayan River. There are 87 ludong fishers selected as respondents from six municipalities (Amutung, Alcala, Sto. Niño, Gattaran, Camalaniugan and Aparri).

The assessment was conducted through focus group discussion and interpersonal interviews. Results showed that ludong fishers mostly belong to low income family who are either full-time or part-time fishers and earn around US$196.00 (PHP10,000.00) or below monthly income. These fishers are very much dependent on ludong catch during its spawning migration for its high market price. Peak spawning migration is during October and November and is generally dependent on the water volume and current flow brought by flooding during heavy rains.

Fishers can identify pre- spawning cues that provide a hint for them of the impending migration of ludong. Among these are fishy smell of the river which is probably due to the pheromones released by the spawners to attract opposite sex and locate their migratory routes, noise made by seagulls at night, and advance migration of flathead grey mullet, Mugil cephalus. Use of motorized bancas and gillnets is the most common method of catching ludong. The increasing market price of ludong is putting much pressure on the resources hence regulation of the fishing efforts is recommended.

Access full text of the Chapter 7, Mullet and its Aquaculture: Seasonal Migration and Fishering Technologies of Lobbed River Mullet “Ludong”