Randy B. Ardines | Niño Jess Mar F. Mecha | Roger G. Dolorosa
The inhabitants of small offshore islands are highly dependent on the health and availability of their resources. However, pieces of information about the commonly gleaned species in some remote areas are sparsely documented. In this study, we inventoried the species composition of the widely gleaned macro-benthic invertebrates such as gastropods, bivalves, and sea cucumbers in Cawili Island, a small inhabited island in the middle of the Sulu Sea in Palawan, Philippines. The samples obtained from fishers and snorkeling activities in shallow areas revealed a total of 85 species belonging to 27 families. Most of these were gastropods, composed of 68 species under 20 families. The list includes nine protected species (four gastropods, two bivalves, and three sea cucumbers). Gastropods and bivalves were mostly used for food and display in the house of the fishermen (souvenir), while the sea cucumbers were exclusively harvested for trade. Sustainable fishery activities are needed in this small offshore island where people heavily rely on their marine resources.