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San Carlos


Conservation benefit: Protection of 287-acre no-take fish sanctuary for 25 years

Community benefit: Multipurpose building that will, among other uses, be a venue for an alternative learning system for children

Date Approved: 02.2016


This project protects ocean ecosystems, making coastal communities more economically and physically secure in the face of climate change.

The village of San Carlos is on the southwestern shore of Cuyo Island. Just offshore lies the 287-acre Imalaguan Fish Sanctuary. San Carlos has contributed to its management, surveillance, and monitoring for more than 10 years, training fish wardens and running regular patrols.

Fish found in the sanctuary area include damselfishes and clownfishes, wrasses, butterflyfishes, cardinalfishes, breams, groupers, and parrotfishes. Many of the 1,500 residents of San Carlos make a living from fishing, and the fish sanctuary has helped them by replenishing fish stocks outside the sanctuary.

The village is renewing its commitment to protect the no-take area for 25 years. In exchange, Seacology will fund construction of a multipurpose center, which the village will use for livelihood training, conservation campaigns, and fisherfolk meetings. It will also serve as a classroom for “out of school youth,” children who have received little formal schooling.

The Barangay Council will provide a lot for the building and a safe place to store construction materials. Members of the council and the fisherfolk organization will help clear the construction site, hiring local workers for construction. After the building is finished, the council will allocate money for maintenance. The Andres Soriano Foundation, a partner in previous projects, is helping the community.

Project Updates

November 2016

Seacology field representative Ferdie Marcelo attended a ceremony and ribbon-cutting that opened the new community center this month. The fisher folk told him that the catch outside the fish sanctuary has noticeably increased since the sanctuary was declared. It’s not only reef fish that are coming back, but also pelagic species such as Spanish mackerel and sailfish.

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July 2016

Construction of the multipurpose center has been completed. The project even came in a bit under budget, leaving some funds that will be used for furniture and fixtures in the building.

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May 2016

The multipurpose community center is already roughly 70% finished. Steelworks, masonry, and concreting have been completed; sheeting for the roof is 90% complete. Work that remains to be done includes installation of sewer lines and water lines, toilet bowl and sink, wall and floor tiles, lighting fixtures and switches, and others. The community hopes to finish the project by August.

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