LEGAZPI CITY — Divers from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) extracted around 12 kilograms of sea snails that damage corals in Tagbon Reef off the shores of this city, the agency said Saturday.
Nonie Enolva, BFAR spokesperson, said the extraction of the coral-eating snail or drupella was done, as the world celebrated World Oceans Day, to avoid an outbreak in the reef.
Although the extraction of the harmful sea snails was briefly stopped Friday due to bad weather, the 12 kilograms that were removed was still an alarming number, she said.
They initially received a report from Legazpi City’s Integrated Coastal Resource Management (ICRM) about the growing number of drupella in Tagbon Reef, Enolva said.
“Considering that the drupella [is] quite small, but it is widespread in the reef, we can already say that they are reproducing at an alarming rate,” Enolva said.
BFAR, however, has yet to determine the percentage of the drupella population in the reef, or if the snails have already caused a significant damage.
While Ragay Gulf has experienced the same problem, this is the first time that ICRM has reported an alarming number of drupella in Tagbon Reef, she added.
The snails spread in the area because they have no predators, Enolva said.
She said the extracted sea snails were buried.
BFAR would schedule another extraction when Tropical Storm “Domeng” is no longer affecting the region, she said.
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