Pijanga, local name for fresh white goby is the major fish species in Lake Mainit. However, the latest report shows that pijanga size is reduced. Is Pijanga now under threat?)
Lake Mainit has been identified to have rich biodiversity particularly on aquatic resources. The Foundation for the Philippine Environment ( FPE) who assessed Lake Mainit biodiversity through the Lake Mainit Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development project affirms that the Lake Mainit is the habitat of rare and endemic species. Based on the latest study on the Sustainable Fisheries Management Program (SFMP) for Lake Mainit conducted by the MSU-Naawan researchers from August to October 2007, it was found out that there were 27 kinds of finfish species of which some might be temporary (migratory or seasonal); 3-5 kinds crustaceans; 8-10 kinds mollusk; and 14 kinds of aquatic plants. And out of 27 kinds of finfish species, the white goby, locally known as pijanga or pedianga is commonly identified from the catches in Lake Mainit area.
White goby (Glossogobius giuris) or pijanga belongs to Family Gobiidae. It is one of the native endemic fish specie found in Lake Mainit. Accordingly, pijanga is characterized by having fused ventral fins which is used functionally to anchor on substrates. There are two identified types of pijanga: the deep water pijanga and the shallow water pijanga based on the characteristic of its habitat. The SFMP inception report said that pijanga is found in littoral and limnetic zones. Galicia and Lopez in 2000 reported that pijanga size ranged from 25 to 305 mm. but SFMP reported that pijanga now only ranges from 57 – 242 mm, The reduction of the pijanga size to 63 mm is quite alarming.
What the next finding would reveal might be the reduction of pijanga catches. The continuous illegal catching of sagoyun (fingerlings of pijanga) and over fishing using baling (seine) are some of the many reasons of the continuous declining of pijanga size. This indicates that pijanga might be disappearing in the next generations if unsustainable fishing practices cannot be avoided. •
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