Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

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I recently brought to the attention of the Tubbataha Park Manager the recent observation of Dave when he went to the transition trip last June 3 – 7. Ms. Angelique Songco, was quiet surprised at the same time grateful because they rarely get feedbacks from the tourists. I would like to share with you her reply to my email and I highly encourage you to write to her directly (tmo@tubbatahareef.org) if you have additional information or observations you would want share with them. You may click on this LINK if you want to find out more about Tubbataha.

Dear Paz,

Thank you very much for your email. We very seldom get feedback from visitors and we are happy to hear from you – albeit the not-so-good report.

I am sorry to hear that your husband and his dive buddies observed less marine life during their visit. Our 2006 Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Report reflects an increase in fish biomass of both pelagic and demersal species. The fishers that the rangers arrested were gathering gastropods, specifically Trochus niloticus, locally known as samong or topshell. It is a threatened species of shell that is being traded in the underground market in Palawan and Cebu. Very few of the arrests in Tubbataha involve people harvesting fish.

The Tubbataha management board agonized about increasing the conservation fees. However, since it was not possible to deliver the same level of protection without increasing fees, the board opted to take the more difficult decision of increasing conservation fees.

And although the plan was to continue to conduct briefings on board the dive boats prior to their trips to the Park, there just wasn’t enough personnel to undertake this activity. It was actually me who did these briefings. But the increasing workload and considerations that cried out for immediate attention prevented me from conducting as many brieifings as I wanted to. I am happy to hear that those briefings did actually help because I somehow had the feeling that I was taxing (and boring) the dive operators and their guests by demanding their time for these presentations. Because of your feedback, we will make sure that we conduct more of them in the coming seasons.

Please let me know if you are interested in the 2006 Ecosytem report so I can send you a copy. It is quite heavy so I am not attaching it here.

I thank you sincerely for taking the time to write us. We hope more visitors to the Park will do the same as it is a very valuable contribution to management. God bless and keep you and your family.

Best fishes!

Angelique Songco

Park Manager, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

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1 Comment

  1. Great work Paz, at least we are moving towards our quest to find a lasting solution to the dwindling marine population of Tubbataha. I still would like to visit it again in the future.
    Perhaps Dave can take it up with Sen. Migz (at last) and see what he can do in terms of legislation. I know it is a difficult task but if we all move in the same direction, I am sure that something good will come out of it.


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