The Philippines has some of the world’s most diverse coral reefs. These beautiful reefs feature far more species than do reefs in other parts of the world such as the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the Philippines is also home to some of the world’s most degraded reefs. Blast and cyanide fishing, overfishing, and pollution have damaged an estimated 85% of Philippine reefs.
Four villages on the island of Palawan have agreed to protect 1,317 acres of threatened coral reef for 25 years. In addition, they will protect 2,580 acres of mangrove forest. In return, Seacology, in cooperation with the El Nido Foundation, will provide funding for two guardhouses, patrol boats, marker buoys, and signs to enforce the new no-fishing reserve.
Putting a large area of the reef off-limits to fishing means the villagers will forgo income from fishing. Recognizing that, the Seacology grant will also pay for shelling and roasting machinery for the community’s fledgling cashew farming industry.