MAPPING OF <i>SARGASSUM</i> DISTRIBUTION IN THE EASTERN COAST OF SOUTHERN LEYTE USING SENTINEL 2 SATELLITE IMAGERY
Sargassum is a brown seaweed distributed in the Philippines and recognized as an additional source of income for fishing communities. Due to uncontrolled harvesting of the seaweed, the Department of Agriculture regulated its collection and harvesting by imposing seasonal restrictions. Hence, the need to identify the locations and cover of healthy Sargassum is vital to address the demand in the market while maintaining ecological balance in the marine ecosystem. Two Sentinel-2 satellite imagery (10 m resolution) acquired on December 08, 2017 (peak growth) and May 27, 2018 (senescence stage) were used to map the presence of Sargassum in the eastern coast of Southern Leyte. Supervised classification using maximum likelihood algorithm and accuracy assessment were conducted before generating the map. Three classes were considered namely Sargassum, clouds and land. Furthermore, Anselin Local Moran’s I (cluster and outlier analysis) was conducted to determine which areas have significant clustering of “healthy” Sargassum using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). For both image dates, high classification accuracies of Sargassum were obtained in the islands. However, there are misclassifications of Sargassum in Silago (UA = 78.72%) and Hinunangan (PA = 82.35%) using the May image. Furthermore, misclassification of Sargassum were obtained in Silago (PA = 93.6%) and Hinundayan (PA = 96.23%) using the December image. Clusters of high NDVI values are more evident in December. Healthy Sargassum are apparent in the coast of Silago and mostly found near shore and in rocky substrates.