MAY 4, 2018 – The National Youth Commission is calling unto the public, most especially the youth, to plan ways to protect our reefs and oceans as part of the celebration for Month of the Ocean 2018, with the theme :”Together for Our Reefs”.
May was declared the “Month of the Ocean”. This was stated in Proclamation No. 57 s. 1999, which also which also indicates that “coastal and marine resources provide both economic and ecological benefits…”
Asec. Paul Pangilinan, NYC Environment Committee Chair, states “As among the most diverse ecosystems in the planet, the oceans and reefs are critical to our survival, and it is incumbent upon us that we protect and conserve them.”
He also adds, “Our oceans and reefs are at risks from a large coastal population, and fishing overcapacity. A combination of warmer water temperature and increasing acidity are also endangering our dependence on our oceans for food, transportation, energy sources, and recreation.”
Tubbataha Reef as photographed last July 2015
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) says that “The Philippine Coral Reef Area, the second largest in Southeast Asia is estimated at 26,00 square kilometers and holds an extraordinary diversity of species.” It is said that the PH Coral Reef Area was identified to have 915 reef fish species and 400 scleractinian coral species, with 12 of them being endemic to the Philippines.
Few of the many threats surrounding Philippine Coral Reef Areas are as follows:
- Large coastal population
- Rapid population growth
- Fisher overcapacity
- Destructive fishing techniques
- Coastal development
- Land-cover change
ASec Pangilinan also adds, “Like our #NowPH (Not on Our Watch) 15 ways to a climate-smart lifestyle, there are a ton of doable actions out there to help protect our oceans and reefs.”
Possible ways that we can help protect our coral reefs are:
- Conserve Water
- Help Reduce Pollution
- Research What You Put on Your Lawn
- Dispose of Your Trash Properly
- Support Reef-friendly Businesses
- Plant a Tree
- Practice Safe and Responsible Diving and Snorkeling
- Volunteer for a Coral Reef Cleanup
- Contact Your Government Representatives
- Spread the Word
To find out more about the ways you can help our coral reefs, you can visit here.
You can also find out more about Philippine Coral Reefs at the BFAR website.