PHILIPPINES CORAL REEFS – THE AMAZON OF THE SEA

philippines-coral-reefs

The Philippines is part of the coral triangle and area with more species of fish and corals than any other marine environment on earth.

Tropical reefs are the richest marine ecosystems on earth and those found in the Philippines boast a diversity of life and colour that is unparalleled.

100 scientists have declared the Philippines as the world’s “center of marine biodiversity” because of its vast species of marine and coastal resources”- World Bank

The Philippines is part of the Coral Triangle, the epicenter for marine biodiversity and what is considered the Amazon of the Sea. It is an area with more species of fish and corals than any other marine environment on earth.

The largest fish in the sea, the whale shark, calls these waters home, along with over 2,000 species of fish, hundreds of species of corals, sea turtles, sharks and a breath taking variety of other stunning marine life.

coral triangle map

Coral TriangleCoral reefs help protect coastlines from erosion, they’re a valuable source of new pharmaceuticals and they’re an important part of the Filipino culture. Most importantly they provide food security and livelihood to millions of people around the country, which is estimated at US$1 billion annually to the economy.

However these reefs are under threat from destructive fishing methods including cyanide poisoning and overfishing. The World Atlas of Coral Reefs, compiled by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), reported that 97 percent of reefs in the Philippines are under threat.f current destructive fishing practices and overuse of these resources continue the reefs will collapse, with devastating consequences to local and global marine biodiversity and the people of the Philippines.

But there is hope. With projects such as Saving Philippine Reefs, community education programs and the establishment of new marine protected areas the Philippines is working towards building a bright, healthy and sustainable future.