Hydrodynamics and eutrophication in a mariculture site in the Philippines

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Ma. Teresa Escobar1, Maria Lourdes San Diego-McGlone1, Marilou Martin1 and Cesar Villanoy2, (1)Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Metro Manila, Philippines, (2)Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Quezon City, Philippines
Bolinao, Pangasinan in the Philippines is a site for extensive and intensive culture of Chanos chanos. The proliferation of fish farm structures coupled with excessive feeding caused the deterioration of water quality in the area that lead to hypoxic condition (<2mg/L) and fish kills. A hydrodynamic model of the area, developed using DELFT3D, showed a residence time of 5-15 days in the northern channel and 25 to 28 days in the southern end. The complex configuration of the coast, which includes narrow channels that serve as bottlenecks, result to the inefficient flushing of the area. This was further aggravated by the presence of fish farm structures that restricted the natural flow of water.

Water quality was monitored in the mariculture site and a nearby seagrass reserve. Nitrate+nitrite concentration ranged from 0.34 - 4.1 µM, 0.13 – 2.7 µM for phosphate, and 1.7 – 8.8 µM for ammonia. Highest nutrient concentrations were seen near the fish farms. Analysis of nutrients, chlorophyll-a and tss for a tidal cycle showed that these substances were inadequately flushed from the coastal waters. Long residence times and high nutrient loading in the area were ideal conditions for the development of hypoxia.