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Philippines - the most diverse marine region on earth?

Discussion in '☋ Apo - Siquijor - Bohol ☋' started by ZambeziKid, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. reefglider

    reefglider DI New Member

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    Apo Island


    Howyadoing mate? Anyways I know for a fact that, regardless of how negative many of the things we say about Apo Island, it still is mainly the reason why most of the diver guests, except the hardcore photographers, come to Negros Oriental for. I, like any true-blooded Pilipino busero who have been diving the best of what the Philippines can offer for more than 30 years, can only say that except for sulu sea, which is not anymore that exciting but is still worth visiting, Apo Island and the rest of supposedly well-managed island marine sanctuaries, are a big letdown. It's frustrating to see fish traps, and gill nets, and garbage all mixing up with the still nice coral growth that still adorns Apo. Even more sickening is the fact that should anyone complain or protest, or initiate action against the way the islanders manage their sanctuary, he or she is threatened with being fined or forever banned from diving the area by the same guys who are supposed to ensure proper and effective management of marine sanctuaries. It's understandable that because of the lack of decent livelihood opportunities on the island, the people there really have no other choice but to catch fish to survive. But to do it in an indiscriminate manner, like setting up fish traps and nets within the protected area is one recipe for ecological disaster. I've seen places a lot better than Apo which got totally erased from the dive map by such idiotic practices in less than three years because there are hardly any more fish life left to see or even talk about.

    I just hope that the Apo islanders themselves would see the big drop in biodiversity from a few years back and realize that unless they do something drastic towards better and sustainable management of their marine environment, and start adopting proper and effective family planning, there shall no longer be anything better for them to do there than lead miserable lives.
     
  2. yabs

    yabs DI Forum Adept Restricted Account

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    how many years back?
     
  3. cebudiver

    cebudiver DI Member

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    http://www.fishbase.org
    this database has over 14,000 fish species listed
    it lists Australia as having the most marine species ( 4364), reef species (1964) and endemic species (487)
    Indonesia is second with 4320 total , 1953 reef and 112 endemic
    Philippines is 3rd with 3183 total , 1752 reef and 79 endemic
    PNG is 4th Thailand is 5th with 2156 total, 760 reef and 20 endemic....
    The Red Sea and Carribean are orders of magnitude smaller than the RP
    The RP is first in introduced species , with 40 ( Indo 2nd with 31)
    and total aquarium species exports , at 268 ( the countries in the rest of SEA are all under 50 )
    Reefbase.org shows the philippines to be 3rd in # of coral species as well , behind Australia PNG (combined) and Indonesia
    However, there are new species documented all the time , so this data is fluid ... there are more reef invert species used medicinally from the philippines than anywhere else ...

    the point of view of someone breeding fish for the aquarium trade would be different than, say, that of a coral reef ecologist looking at total biodiversity.
    that said, the philippines ranks high , even if not #1
    its a shame that less than 10% of the reefs here ( and in most of the rest of SEA) are healthy and not overfished - what a waste
     
  4. cebudiver

    cebudiver DI Member

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    Apo is included in the healthy category. In spite of the breakup of clownfish city due to dive pressure and the relative lack of large pelagics with territories outside park boundries ( the slaughter of those whale sharks last year comes to mind) the coral, associated inverts and reef fish are doing well here ...
     
  5. cebudiver

    cebudiver DI Member

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    Except for the demise of clownfish city I havent seen any marked deterioration at Apo since I first dove here in 1993
    Sumilon has been improving in that same time period ( after being dynamited in the early 90's when Oslob took control of the sanctuary from Silliman U and allowed the first Japaneese resort to be built there)
    I dont see garbage and gill nets at Apo and the traps cause minimal damage
     
  6. jellyfish

    jellyfish DI Forum Patron

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    good info

    Cebudiver, thanks for this information and the web-link.
     
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