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In The Know: Tubbataha Reefs


YVETTE LEE/CONTRIBUTOR

The Tubbataha Reefs are atoll coral reefs located 157 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.

It is a marine sanctuary protected as the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, covering almost 97,030 hectares of high-quality marine habitats supporting over 350 species of corals and almost 500 species of fish.

The site is a haven to whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse. It also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

In 1993, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) declared the park a World Heritage Site. It is administered as part of Cagayancillo, Palawan, and is under the protective management of the Department of National Defense.

In 1999, in response to overfishing, poaching and exploitation, the Palawan Council formed the 19-person Tubbataha Protected Area Management Board for Sustainable Development to conserve, manage and preserve the resources of Tubbataha.

In April 2010, Republic Act No. 10067, or the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act, was enacted to ensure the conservation and preservation of the sanctuary.

Last September, the World Future Council (WFC) lauded the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act for ensuring the effective management of the heritage site, citing the excellent condition of the reef compared with neighboring sites.

“Tubbataha has demonstrated that with carefully planned management, local communities need not bear the burden of closed protected areas, but can be their primary beneficiaries; as a nursery site for fish, the reef supports local artisanal fisheries,” the WFC said in a statement.

Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives; Unesco; tubbatahareef.org; palawanboard.com


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Tags: Foreign affairs , Global Nation , Maritime Accidents , Sulu Sea , Tubbataha Reefs , US Navy , World Wide Fund

  • DakuAkongUtin

     Ayan  na , mag leleak yan ng oil . Consider na wasak na ang Tubbahata
    Reef. This is a  pristine breeding ground for fish and wildlife in the
    Sulu Sea, nagsuspply ito ng mga isda sa Visayas at Mindanao for human
    consumption.
    Putang ina kayong mga US navy  !  Putang ina kayong mga
    taga gobyernong Tagalegleg sa Maynila for allowing these white and Negro
    trash to shzt these rich marine sanctuary. Ang kabuhayan ng mga isda at
    supply of fish for Visayas at Mindanao is now being threatened.
    Fck
    you DFA Del Rosario at mga tagalegs for allowing these US Navy to shzt
    our inland waters just bec of Chinese rise as a global power. Ngayon
    patuloy ang pag chupapa ninyo sa mga puti na yan. Dios Ko santisima
    Maria !

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

      Illegal dumping of chemical waste has become a widespread problem in China, with a chain of middlemen profiteering from it. This has worsened the already precarious environmental situation in China.
      In December 2011, residents of Fengqiao Village in Haozhou City, Anhui Province smelled a pungent odor. The villagers searched all over and eventually found over 70 barrels of liquid chemical waste buried near a stream, which is regularly used by villagers for irrigation.
      According to the state-run People’s Daily, the local environmental protection office analyzed it and found several toxic chemical components, including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and acetyl benzene. If humans come into contact with this chemical mix, it results in serious health damage.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    TUNGSHA, Taiwan (AFP) — Chinese fishermen have been accused of poaching in Taiwan’s first marine national park where authorities here say their destructive methods are endangering the area’s ecology.
    The scourge of boats scouring the seabed for food destined for Hong Kong restaurants is combining with global warming as a major cause of coral reef bleaching, they say.
    “Chinese fishing boats have been posing the gravest threat to the fragile ecological system here,” Shaw I-pung of the Marine National Park headquarters said, speaking of the tiny coral atoll called Tungshan Island.
    “They have been using illegal methods like poisons, dynamite and electricity to exploit marine resources in the region,” he added.
    Tungsha Islands, comprising Tungsha Island and two coral reefs which are submerged at high tides, straddles a strategically important sea route at the north of the South China Sea linking the Pacific and Indian oceans.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    TUNGSHA, Taiwan (AFP) — Chinese fishermen have been accused of poaching in Taiwan’s first marine national park where authorities here say their destructive methods are endangering the area’s ecology.
    The scourge of boats scouring the seabed for food destined for Hong Kong restaurants is combining with global warming as a major cause of coral reef bleaching, they say.
    “Chinese fishing boats have been posing the gravest threat to the fragile ecological system here,” Shaw I-pung of the Marine National Park headquarters said, speaking of the tiny coral atoll called Tungshan Island.
    “They have been using illegal methods like poisons, dynamite and electricity to exploit marine resources in the region,” he added.
    Tungsha Islands, comprising Tungsha Island and two coral reefs which are submerged at high tides, straddles a strategically important sea route at the north of the South China Sea linking the Pacific and Indian oceans.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    Chinese are the most destructive in terms of fishing.

    Cyanide fishing: In this technique, fishers squirt sodium cyanide into the water to stun fish without killing them, making them easy to catch. Cyanide fishing on coral reefs began in the 1960s to supply the international aquarium trade. But since the early 1980s, a much bigger, more profitable business has emerged: supplying live reef fish for the restaurants of Hong Kong, Singapore, and, increasingly, mainland China. Some 20,000 tonnes of live fish are eaten annually in the restaurants of Hong Kong – and for every live fish caught using cyanide, a square metre of their coral reef home is killed.
    Dynamite fishing: In this technique, dynamite or other explosives are set off under water. The dead fish floating to the surface are then simply scooped up. The explosives completely destroy the underwater environment, leaving it as rubble. Dynamite fishing has contributed to massive destruction of, for example, Southeast Asian coral reefs over the past 20 years.

    Ghost fishing: Ghost fishing occurs when fishing gear is lost or abandoned at sea. The gear can continue to catch fish, dolphins, whales, turtles, and other creatures as it drifts through the water and after it becomes snagged on the seabed. When driftnets were used on the High Seas, an estimated 1,000km of ghost nets were released each year into the North Pacific Ocean alone. 

    Although the current contribution of ghost fishing to bycatch is unknown, it is likely to have a large impact. One survey estimated that a quarter of the rubbish on the bottom of the North Sea is fishing nets, while fishers speak of a dolphin and turtle graveyard among the nets that drape the cliffs of Cape Wessell, Northern Australia.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NYKIOQEDTUD4FPPPVHP6XMFNEA Raul

    MANILA, Philippines – A Chinese warship has run aground on a shoal located about 60 nautical miles off Rizal town in Palawan, an Australian newspaper reported yesterday.

    The Department of National Defense (DND) confirmed that a Jianghu-class, Chinese guided-missile frigate with bow No. 560 had run aground, but no details were provided.

    “We have dispatched our own assets from the Western Command (Wescom) to investigate why the ship was there. Was it involved in an accident? If they need help then we will provide assistance,” Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said.

    The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Chinese warship ran aground the other night while patrolling contested waters in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

    The report said the frigate pinned itself to a reef at Half Moon (Hasa Hasa) Shoal, on the southeastern edge of the Spratly Islands and remains “thoroughly stuck.”

    “Salvage operations could be diplomatically challenging, given the vessel appears to have run aground within 200 kilometers of the Philippines coast, which is squarely within what Manila claims to be its exclusive economic zone,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.



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