Boracay’s Reefbuds

Despite some criticism from theMunicipal Agriculture Office, reports still show that the Reefbud technology deployed in the waters off of Boracay, is working as well as was originally predicted.

The Code Blue project of the SPC has shown significant results with primary coral growth and coral colonies increasing in size at a rapid rate. However not all areas where the Reefbuds were placed responded in a similar manner. Certain areas have shown a slower response. We would like to point out that the Code Blue project was completed only last June 2012. Certain areas were rehabilitated only after the summer coral spawning season of 2012. We are hoping to see a full grown coral reef within the next five years. To demand coral growth in few months is ignorance on the part of the MAO marine biologist.

A baseline survey revealed fields of crushed coral fragments, one meter deep and stretching for many kilometers.
It is MAO’s failure to stop illegal fishing methods such as Muro ami that has contributed heavily to the damage of the Coral Reefs.

They have also allowed large scale Tourism fishing over Marine Protected Areas which has contributed to the decline of fish population and the loss of fish eating algae.

The Sangkalikasan Producers Cooperative has defended its P50 million underwater environmental restoration project on this resort island. This developed after the Municipal Agriculture Office reported to the local council describing that the SPC project was like a ‘cemetery’ zone.

Malay Councilor Dante Pagsuguiron, chairman of the committee on environment, said he recommended to the MAO that they should submit a copy of the report to the Office of Senator Loren Legarda for her comment. Legarda provided the funding for the SPC project.

“We do not consider ourselves environmental scientists to comment on this project. So we wanted Sen. Legarda to send a team of experts to determine if the project has been effective,” Pagsuguiron said.

The SPC has undertaken the project by planting coral reef technology to restore the damaged coral reefs in this resort island. Among the causes of damaged coral reefs were human intervention and global warming.

For his part, Jojo Rodriguez of the SPC said that water quality issues, disturbance and siltation caused the project to become imperfect. But the SPC hopes that in five years time, it will grow.

“The reefbud technology is a World Bank awarded innovation. It was utilized in Anilao, Batangas and in Rosario, Cavite. The SPC inspected both project sites and witnessed the positive results. The SPC also utilized the Department of Science and Technology coral propagation method as an innovation to the existing technology, “ Rodriguez said.

The coral propagation method was reportedly used by the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute is practically a cloning method of coral reproduction.

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