Cultural Beliefs, Practices and Productivity of the Fishery Resource in the Island Municipality of Capul, Northern Samar, Philippines

  • Journal of Environmental Science and Management
  • Tito Cabili
  • Virginia Cuevas
Keywords: traditional fishing methods, fishery productivity, deities and fairies, coral condition


Capul is a small island municipality of Northern Samar situated along the swift flowing San Bernardino Strait. Typhoons often pass through the island especially during the Northeast monsoon season. The inhabitants’ livelihood relies mainly on fishing combined with farming. Unstructured focused interview of the elders of the island on their different cultural beliefs and practices related to fishing was conducted. Fish catch was measured in one lunar month each during summer and typhoon seasons. Catch per unit effort (CPUE) was determined for each major type of fishing method. Multiple correlation analysis was used to determine the factors affecting fish productivity. The islanders still have strong beliefs and respect for deities and fairies supposed to be residing on specific areas of the island. These sacred places remain undisturbed and may have become fish sanctuaries. The inhabitants modified traditional fishing methods to suit their economic needs and condition. People’s initiatives and peer pressure have diminished the use of illegal fishing methods in the island such as compressor, dynamite and poisonous plants. The fishery yield was high in comparison with that of other fishery resources of the country. The CPUE for fish net and hook and line methods were high. The inhabitants’ cultural beliefs and practices may have led to the conservation of their fishery resource which gave the high yield. There are indications that the yield is sustainable.