CEBU CITY, Philippines – The local government of Moalboal has decided to close one of its popular tourist spots for three months.
The municipality on January 19 announced that Pescador Island will be temporarily closed for three months to give the island time to rehabilitate and heal from the devastation left by Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai).
Moalboal’s legislative body also passed a resolution on January 18 to formalize the momentary closure of Pescador Island.
“(The municipality will be) imposing a “No Diving and No Snorkeling Area” at Pescador Island for a period of three months [that] will provide the best opportunity for the reef ecosystem to start its recovery,” portions of the resolution stated.
“Due to the severity of the typhoon’s destruction, the corals and other marine life at Pescador Island were badly destroyed which will take time for the reefs to recover and rehabilitate,” it added.
However, the local government unit clarified that resorts, beaches, diving, and other water activities in their town are still operational and open to visitors.
“Other dive sites and beaches within the locality remain suitable for tourism activities and open for those who wish to experience the wonders of Moalboal,” the approved resolution reads.
Pescador Island is an islet located along Tañon Strait and is under the jurisdiction of Moalboal, a fourth-class town located approximately 89 kilometers southwest of Cebu City.
The islet is known to host famous diving activities such as the “sardine run.” Divers also frequent Pescador Island to witness the rich marine biodiversity found in Tañon Strait.
The tourism industry was not spared by Odette’s fury when it battered central and southern Cebu on December 16, 2021.
Available data from the Provincial Tourism Office showed that tourism establishments and sites all over the province incurred damages of no less than P112 million due to the super typhoon.