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Philippines govt pressed to do more to save country’s remaining corals by Bettina Faye V. Roc June 05,2012   |  Source: BW

The Philippines has been advised to increase "no-take" marine zones, among others, to protect the biodiversity of the country’s coral cover, said to be the third largest in the world.

"There are about 1,000 marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Philippines, some of them already no-take areas," said Terry Hughes, director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, in his keynote speech at a forum on the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) on Tuesday in Manila.

No-take marine zones are areas of the marine environment permanently closed to all forms of extraction of resources, primarily fisheries, he explained.

"The ban lets species within the enclosure propagate, which will effectively reseed the area’s surrounding seascape and increase fish biomass by enhancing egg production," Mr. Hughes said.

Citing a 2009 study conducted by Filipino and Australian scientists on the effectiveness of MPAs in the Philippines for biodiversity conservation, he said that current no-take MPAs -- 85% of which are in just two sites -- cover just 0.5% of the country’s municipal waters and 2.7-3.4% of coral reef areas in the Philippines.

Republic Act No. 8550, or The Philippines Fisheries Code of 1998, requires 15% of coastal municipal waters to be


© 2012 BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation

Theme(s): Fisheries Resources.

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