The abalone Haliotis asinina is among the highly valued aquaculture commodities in the Philippines. But, the production of abalone in general has declined primarily because of unregulated exploitation. Predation, both in the wild and in grow-out cages may also contribute to the decrease of abalone production. As there has been no record on the predation of H. asinina in the past, this study is the first to gather information on the predators of this species, taken from the perspective of local fisherfolks. Four sites in Palawan Island, the Philippines, identified to have active gathering of wild abalone were sampled. Descriptive survey method with a semistructured questionnaire was used to interview local fisherfolks regarding their knowledge on predators of abalone. A total of 84 respondents were interviewed of which 53 have observed actual predation of abalone. Twenty-five species of predators composed of fishes, crustaceans, molluscs, an octopus, and a sea turtle have been identified. Of this, four species, namely, the fishes Cyclichthys orbicularis and Diodon liturosus, Octopus sp., and the crab Charybdis feriata were consistently observed in the four sites based on the synthesis of data obtained from the fisherfolks. Most respondents suggest that aquaculture is an essential way to increase the abalone production. The information herein serves as baseline information to develop appropriate design and management of culture facility to minimize predation and to maximize the survival of cultured abalone. Further study on the ecology, particularly the actual observation of predation and its effects, is recommended.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2