8 reefs in CV in poor condition, need clean-up
At least eight coral reefs in Central Visayas are in poor shape and increasingly vulnerable to the effects of water pollution in populated coastal areas, according to a recent survey.
Reefs in Argao, Oslob, and Naga in south Cebu; Bogo City in the north and Balamban in the west coast; Calape in Bohol; San Jose and Enrique Villanueva in Negros Oriental need close attention, based on a survey by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
DENR assessed 2,428 hectares of marine-protected areas in Central Visayas since January 2015.
Mario Aragon, chief of DENR’s conservation and development resource division, urged the public to take part in coastal clean-ups to help revive the reefs.
“The drive will help identify the common types of garbage thrown by the public to prevent further destruction,” Aragon said.
Volunteer action would be timely since September is International Coastal Clean-up Month.
DENR-7 will have a coastal clean-up drive on September 21 in Calajo-an, Minglanilla town in south Cebu.
Aside from the waste dumped in the sea, illegal fishing methods are a perennial threat to the health of the corals.
“Corals that are three meters below sea level are prone to die due to dynamite and cyanide fishing. These practices not only harm the environment but also the livelihood of fishers,” Aragon said in a forum yesterday at the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. office.
Aragon said dynamite and cyanide fishing is still rampant in the towns of Argao, Oslob, Balamban in Cebu and in Calape town in Bohol.
Cyanide slows coral photosynthesis which results in coral bleaching and then death.
It would take 10 to 50 years for corals to regrow to its original state.
Close monitoring of reefs and transplanting coral fragments to damaged coral reefs are being done to restore the health of the reefs.
“We continue to try harder in our efforts to protect our coastal and marine ecosystem,” said DENR Regional Director Isabelo Montejo.
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