Benham Rise: UN Approves RP’s Territorial Waters Claim

(Source: TV 9, News & Current Affairs, youtube)

Facts and Figures about Benham Plateau.

According to the Wikipedia,

The Benham Plateau, also known as the Benham Rise, is a seismically active undersea region and extinct volcanic ridge located in the Philippine Sea approximately 250 km (160 mi) east of the northern coastline of Dinapigue, Isabela.

Under the Philippine Sea lie a number of basins including the West Philippine Sea Basin, inside of which is located the Central Basin Fault (CBF).[1] The Benham Plateau is located in the CBF and its basement probably is a micro-continent.[2] Several scientific surveys have been made on the feature to study its nature and its impact on tectonic subduction, including one about its effects on the 1990 Luzon earthquake. The area is a territory of the Philippines which was claimed, as part of its continental shelf, which was then lodged with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on April 8, 2009 and was approved by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in 2012.[3]  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Geological features[edit]

The map shows the features of the Philippine Sea Plate.

Benham Rise is a submerged extinct volcanic ridge located at 16 degrees 30 minutes N, 124 degrees 45 minutes E off the coast of Luzon, with the size of about 250 km in diameter and rises over 2,000 meters (2 km.) above the sea floor, from below 5,000 meters (5 km.) below sea level to above 3,000 meters (3 km.) below sea level. Its area is close to the Benham Seamount, located at 15 degrees 48 minutes N, 124 degrees 15 minutes E. The precise location is somewhere near the east of the Philippine Trench and near the south of the East Luzon Trench, both of which absorb the subducting force of thePhilippine Sea Plate under the Philippine Mobile Belt,[4] a collage of large blocks of that crust that amalgamated prior to the collision of the Philippine Sea Plate with the Eurasian Plate.[5]

The origin of the landform, along with a fellow landform, the Urdaneta Plateau (a remnant of mantle plume), is identified in one study as at least five sequences of propagating rifts, probably triggered by mantleflowing away from the mantle thermal anomaly.[6] Its presence of the landform disrupts the continuity of this region (known as the Philippine-East Luzon Trench) by continuously colliding with the Sierra Madre mountain range of eastern portion of the island of Luzon. Though it is generally thought that the Philippine Sea Plate is being subducted under the Philippine Mobile Belt, under the rules of tectonic subduction, there appears to be a resistance to this because of the presence of the landform, and instead, the plate is being displaced into the northern portion of Luzon to the west.[7][8]  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

The geophysical features of the plateau may have been the result of an early Miocene collision event between the Benham Rise and the eastern margin of Luzon, which may have also allowed the inception of the NW striking strand of the Philippine fault.[9] These forces may have impacted the shape of the island of Luzon because of the basaltic sea floor resisting the subduction that may have also cause the bending of thePhilippine Fault.[10] The active basins in Central Luzon, which trace an asymmetrical V shape, is the best place to observe recent tectonic evolution of the fault system.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

History[edit]

The landform is presumably named after Admiral Andrew Ellicot Kennedy Benham (1832–1905) by American surveyors who were the probable discoverers of the geological feature. He was a United States Navyofficer, who served with both the South Atlantic and West Gulf Blockading Squadrons during the American Civil War.[11] There has been speculation in the scientific community about the nature of the landform. Following the major 16 July 1990 Luzon earthquake, scientists reconsidered their fault models and decided it likely that Benham Plateau has similarly displaced the Philippine Fault System to the west.[12] After analysing older models such as that of Pinet and Stephan (1989), scientists reconsidered their fault models. They thought that it is highly likely that the Benham Plateau is still displacing Central Luzon and the Philippine Fault System to the west, which may have had an impact in causing such a catastrophic earthquake. The 20 second to 50 second wave in the 1990 quake that developed a new east-west sub-fault was so strong that it terminated disastrously at the city of Baguio in Benguet, Cordillera. Several scientific surveys, conducted between 2004 and 2008, collected hydrographic data that determined the morphology of the seabed in the region. Additional data from international bathymetric surveys and an analysis of international research projects were collected to support the findings.[13]    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Benham Rise has been part of the culture of ancient Filipinos. Ancient Catanduanes people have fished and roamed the area long before the colonial era. In fact, it is celebrated in Catandunganons’ folktales, legends and poetry. Today, large percentage of fish caught by Catandunganon comes from Benham Rise. Its local bicol term is called Kalipung-awan (means loneliness in an isolated place).  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Philippine claim[edit]

Territorial waters of the Philippines. The Benham rise is located directly east of Luzon.

Despite its proximity to the archipelago, the plateau was previously not included in the territory of the Philippines. On 8 April 2009, the Republic of the Philippines lodged a partial territorial waters claim with the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in relation to the continental shelf in the region of Benham Rise.[14] It was submitted as part of petition expanding the archipelago’s baselines and exclusive economic zone through a law that also included other claims involving disputed territories of the Kalayaan Islands (Spratly Islands) and Scarborough Shoal. Although the landform, in itself, is not disputed, the petition still received some criticism inside and outside the country because of its controversial nature.[15] According to the government’s claim, based on a set of guidelines by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the area satisfies the 350-mile constraint line since the outer limits of the continental shelf are located landward of the constraint line, which is located 350 miles from the baselines where the measurement of the breadth of the territorial sea begins.[13] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

The Congress of the Philippines enacted Republic Act No. 9522, also known as the Archipelagic Baselines Law, which is the basis of the claim. According to the document the region is bounded by the Philippine Basin on the north and east, and by Luzon on the west and south. It asserted that, according to scientific data based on seismic, magnetic, other geological features, the Benham Rise is an extension of the Philippines’ continental shelf. In summary, the baselines, the basis used for delineating the maritime territorial and jurisdictional zones (including the continental shelf), conform with the requirements of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).[13] The claim is only a partial claim since the law that allows the Philippines to expand its territorial boundaries also includes islands in theSouth China Sea.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

UN Decision[edit]

The Philippines filed its claim for Benham Rise in 2008 in compliance with the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The UN has officially approved the claim in April 2012.[3][16][17][18]

(Source: Rappler hosted by Maria Ressa, youtube)

Comments:

According to the report mentioned by Pia Hontiveros, Benham Rise is a 13 million hectare sea bed off the coast of Aurora Province, Luzon, Philippines, that may potentially contain steel producing minerals and natural gas.

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UPDATES dated March 15, 2017…the following news item taken from the website of CNN Philippines revealed that China respects the rights of the Philippine Government to its claim over the continental shelf at Benham Rise.  It might be recalled that the continental shelf of the Benham Rise is contiguous to the mainland of Luzon, thus making it a rightful undersea “territory” of the Republic of the Philippines as approved by the United Nations in 2012.  Here’s the Chinese press release and available on-line through CNN-Philippines’ website…here is the link…thank you.

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/03/15/China-respects-PH-rights-Benham-Rise.html

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UPDATES  dated March 21, 2017.

The Philippines’ Legal Advisor based in The Hague, Netherlands, in the person of Paulas Defensor-Knack stated on her FB page this opinion on Benham Rise, hereunder:

“This is the correct opinion on Benham Rise. I made it for Die Hard Fans of MDS so they know what to say when they meet an ignorant opponent online…
Benham Rise is not disputed territory. It is underwater, the ridge of a dormant volcano. The Spratlys on the other hand is disputed territory, it is a reef/ low elevation maritime feature. The ownership of the Spratleys is disputed because the arbitration tribunal could not rule on ownership of maritime features. No one owns Benham Rise but since it is continental shelf, it is in our economic zone though the continental shelf can be beyond the EEZ.”  (Exclusive Economic Zone)

DISCLAIMER:

The Earthniversity does not own the articles, facts and figures stated in this post as well as the videos posted herein. The facts and figures about the Benham Plateau or Benham Rise had been taken from the Wikipedia.  The link is herein stated for your reference.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham_Plateau)

Acknowledgment:

Thank you to Rappler’s Ms. Maria Ressa for the video they posted on youtube.

Thank you to TV 9 News and Current Affairs and Pia Hontiveros for the video they uploaded on youtube.

Thank you to The Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

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  • For discussion purposes only.

Fish Kill At The Kalayaan Island Group

The Philippines had been one of the claimants of a string of islands, atolls, and shoals among others which are located in the disputed areas of South China Sea.

Recently, China was reported to have released chemicals into the surrounding waters of the occupied  Pag-asa Island, a part of the Province of Palawan, Philippines, which resulted  to the  mass-killing of fish, corals and other aquatic plants and animals thereat.

This fish kill  threatens the livelihood of the residents in the Island.  But the Chinese were determined to continue with their action because they wanted the residents to leave the island.

Wikipedia has the following information about the Municipality of Kalayaan, to wit:

  1.  Founded on June 11, 1978 by virtue of Presidential Decree 1596.
  2. Republic Act 9522 of 2009, defines the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines, claimed sovereignty over Kalayaan Island Group, a concept defined in the UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea.
  3. Kalayaan Island Group includes the following:  a) Pag-asa Island is the inhabited island; b) Likas Island; c) Parola Island (Cay); d) Lawak Island; e) Kota Island; f) Patag Island (Cay); g) Panata Island (Cay); g) Balagtas Reef; h) Ayungin Reef; i) Rizal Reef.
  4. The town has a total land area of 110 square miles or 290 square kilometers.
  5. The population as of 2010 is 222.
  6. The town has a dilapidated airstrip, a Lying-In Clinic and an elementary school.
  7. It has a set of elected town officials headed by the Mayor Eugenio B. Bito-onon, Jr.
  8. The town is part of Philippines’ Region IV-B composed of the provinces of Mindoro, Masbate, Romblon and Palawan where the town belongs.  (MIMAROPA Region).

Smart Telecommunications constructed a cell site on the island which became operational on June 12, 2005.

Pag-asa Island is just one of the eight (8) islands in the Municipality of Kalayaan Island Group.  It is located in the West Philippine Sea.

Definition of Terms:

  1.  Cay is a small, low island composed largely of coral or sand. (The Free Dictionary)
  2. Reef is a strip or ridge of rocks, sand or coral that rises to or near the surface to or near the body of water.  (The Free Dictionary)

For a detailed report, please click this link hereunder:

http://www.thedailytrends.net/2016/05/china-releasing-chemicals-to-kill-fish.html

Converting Ocean Waves For Power

After harvesting solar energy to produce power or electricity, another method of producing electricity is through Kinetic Wave Power or simply Wave Power which is converting ocean waves into electricity.

Source: Hashem Al-Ghaili. Thank you.

Converting ocean waves into electricity has been done many years ago. Wikipedia had an elaborate discussion on this topic.  The video is taken from the post of Hashem Al-Ghaili. Here is the discussion about Wave Power from Wikipedia.

History[edit]

The first known patent to use energy from ocean waves dates back to 1799, and was filed in Paris by Girard and his son.[13] An early application of wave power was a device constructed around 1910 by Bochaux-Praceique to light and power his house at Royan, near Bordeaux in France.[14] It appears that this was the first oscillating water-column type of wave-energy device.[15] From 1855 to 1973 there were already 340 patents filed in the UK alone.[13]

Modern scientific pursuit of wave energy was pioneered by Yoshio Masuda‘s experiments in the 1940s.[16] He has tested various concepts of wave-energy devices at sea, with several hundred units used to power navigation lights. Among these was the concept of extracting power from the angular motion at the joints of an articulated raft, which was proposed in the 1950s by Masuda.[17]

A renewed interest in wave energy was motivated by the oil crisis in 1973. A number of university researchers re-examined the potential to generate energy from ocean waves, among whom notably were Stephen Salter from the University of Edinburgh, Kjell Budal and Johannes Falnes from Norwegian Institute of Technology (now merged into Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Michael E. McCormick from U.S. Naval Academy, David Evans from Bristol University, Michael French from University of Lancaster, Nick Newman and C. C. Mei from MIT.

Stephen Salter’s 1974 invention became known as Salter’s duck or nodding duck, although it was officially referred to as the Edinburgh Duck. In small scale controlled tests, the Duck’s curved cam-like body can stop 90% of wave motion and can convert 90% of that to electricity giving 81% efficiency.[18]

In the 1980s, as the oil price went down, wave-energy funding was drastically reduced. Nevertheless, a few first-generation prototypes were tested at sea. More recently, following the issue of climate change, there is again a growing interest worldwide for renewable energy, including wave energy.[19]

The world’s first marine energy test facility was established in 2003 to kick start the development of a wave and tidal energy industry in the UK. Based in Orkney, Scotland, the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has supported the deployment of more wave and tidal energy devices than at any other single site in the world. EMEC provides a variety of test sites in real sea conditions. It’s grid connected wave test site is situated at Billia Croo, on the western edge of the Orkney mainland, and is subject to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean with seas as high as 19 metres recorded at the site. Wave energy developers currently testing at the centre include Aquamarine Power, Pelamis Wave Power, ScottishPower Renewables andWello.[20] (Source: Wikipedia)

Modern technology[edit]

Wave power devices are generally categorized by the method used to capture the energy of the waves, by location and by the power take-off system. Locations are shoreline, nearshore and offshore. Types of power take-off include: hydraulic ram,elastomeric hose pump, pump-to-shore, hydroelectric turbine, air turbine,[21] and linear electrical generator. When evaluating wave energy as a technology type, it is important to distinguish between the four most common approaches: point absorber buoys, surface attenuators, oscillating water columns, and overtopping devices. (Source: Wikipedia)

According to Wikipedia, “Wave power is the transport of energy by wind waves, and the capture of that energy to do useful work – for example, electricity generation, water desalination, or the pumping of water (into reservoirs). A machine able to exploit wave power is generally known as a wave energy converter (WEC).

Wave power is distinct from the diurnal flux of tidal power and the steady gyre of ocean currents. Wave-power generation is not currently a widely employed commercial technology, although there have been attempts to use it since at least 1890.[1] In 2008, the first experimental wave farm was opened in Portugal, at the Aguçadoura Wave Park.[2]

Environmental Effects[edit]

Common environmental concerns associated with marine energy developments include:

  • The risk of marine mammals and fish being struck by tidal turbine blades;
  • The effects of EMF and underwater noise emitted from operating marine energy devices;
  • The physical presence of marine energy projects and their potential to alter the behavior of marine mammals, fish, and seabirds with attraction or avoidance;
  • The potential effect on nearfield and farfield marine environment and processes such as sediment transport and water quality.

The Tethys database provides access to scientific literature and general information on the potential environmental effects of wave energy.[91] (Source: Wikipedia)

Potential[edit]

The worldwide resource of wave energy has been estimated to be greater than 2 TW.[92] Locations with the most potential for wave power include the western seaboard of Europe, the northern coast of the UK, and the Pacific coastlines of North and South America, Southern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The north and south temperate zones have the best sites for capturing wave power. The prevailing westerlies in these zones blow strongest in winter. (Source: Wikipedia)

World wave energy resource map (Source: Wikipedia)

Challenges[edit]

There is a potential impact on the marine environment. Noise pollution, for example, could have negative impact if not monitored, although the noise and visible impact of each design vary greatly.[7] Other biophysical impacts (flora and fauna, sediment regimes and water column structure and flows) of scaling up the technology is being studied.[93] In terms of socio-economic challenges, wave farms can result in the displacement of commercial and recreational fishermen from productive fishing grounds, can change the pattern of beach sand nourishment, and may represent hazards to safe navigation.[94] Waves generate about 2,700 gigawatts of power. Of those 2,700 gigawatts, only about 500 gigawatts can be captured with the current technology.[23]  (Source: Wikipedia)

Furthermore, the Wikipedia enumerated the following countries as implementors of the WAVE FARM or implementors of Kinetic Wave Power Projects to generate electricity. These are:

Portugal[edit]

  • The Aguçadoura Wave Farm was the world’s first wave farm. It was located 5 km (3 mi) offshore near Póvoa de Varzim, north of Porto, Portugal. The farm was designed to use three Pelamis wave energy converters to convert the motion of theocean surface waves into electricity, totalling to 2.25 MW in total installed capacity. The farm first generated electricity in July 2008[95] and was officially opened on September 23, 2008, by the Portuguese Minister of Economy.[96][97] The wave farm was shut down two months after the official opening in November 2008 as a result of the financial collapse of Babcock & Brown due to the global economic crisis. The machines were off-site at this time due to technical problems, and although resolved have not returned to site and were subsequently scrapped in 2011 as the technology had moved on to the P2 variant as supplied to Eon and Scottish Power Renewables.[98] A second phase of the project planned to increase the installed capacity to 21 MW using a further 25 Pelamis machines[99] is in doubt following Babcock’s financial collapse.

United Kingdom[edit]

  • Funding for a 3 MW wave farm in Scotland was announced on February 20, 2007, by the Scottish Executive, at a cost of over 4 million pounds, as part of a £13 million funding package for marine power in Scotland. The first machine was launched in May 2010.[100]
  • A facility known as Wave hub has been constructed off the north coast of Cornwall, England, to facilitate wave energy development. The Wave hub will act as giant extension cable, allowing arrays of wave energy generating devices to be connected to the electricity grid. The Wave hub will initially allow 20 MW of capacity to be connected, with potential expansion to 40 MW. Four device manufacturers have so far expressed interest in connecting to the Wave hub.[101][102] The scientists have calculated that wave energy gathered at Wave Hub will be enough to power up to 7,500 households. The site has the potential to save greenhouse gas emissions of about 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide in the next 25 years.[103]

Australia[edit]

  • A CETO wave farm off the coast of Western Australia has been operating to prove commercial viability and, after preliminary environmental approval, underwent further development.[104][105] In early 2015 a $100 million, multi megawatt system was connected to the grid, with all the electricity being bought to power HMAS Stirling naval base. Two fully submerged buoys which are anchored to the seabed, transmit the energy from the ocean swell through hydraulic pressure onshore; to drive a generator for electricity, and also to produce fresh water. As of 2015 a third buoy is planned for installation.[106][107]
  • Ocean Power Technologies (OPT Australasia Pty Ltd) is developing a wave farm connected to the grid near Portland, Victoria through a 19 MW wave power station. The project has received an AU $66.46 million grant from the Federal Government of Australia.[108]
  • Oceanlinx will deploy a commercial scale demonstrator off the coast of South Australia at Port MacDonnell before the end of 2013. This device, the greenWAVE, has a rated electrical capacity of 1MW. This project has been supported by ARENA through the Emerging Renewables Program. The greenWAVE device is a bottom standing gravity structure, that does not require anchoring or seabed preparation and with no moving parts below the surface of the water.[56]

United States[edit]

  • Reedsport, Oregon – a commercial wave park on the west coast of the United States located 2.5 miles offshore near Reedsport, Oregon. The first phase of this project is for ten PB150 PowerBuoys, or 1.5 megawatts.[109][110] The Reedsport wave farm was scheduled for installation spring 2013.[111] In 2013, the project has ground to a halt because of legal and technical problems.[112]
  • Kaneohe Bay Oahu, Hawai – Navy’s Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) currently testing the Azura wave power device[113] (Source: Wikipedia)

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DISCLAIMER.  Earthniversity does not own the ideas discussed here.  Citation has been made as to the original source of these ideas on Wave Power.  The video is from a post by Hashem Al-Ghaili.  Thanks .

References:

  1. The Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. The topic is Wave Power.
  2. Video is from the post by Hashem Al-Ghaili.

 

 

To What Extent Does A Reclamation Project Hurts Biodiversity?

The non-stop reclamation project of China in the disputed group of islands and islets at the West Philippine Sea or the Spratly group of islands has been causing great irreparable damage to the Biodiversity in that region.  The damage had been observed in the shoals and atolls that included the Johnson Reef, McKennan Reef, Mischief Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Gaven Reef and Fiery Cross Reef.   Through the UN intervention,  this act of defiance by China should, immediately, stop.

This is the substance of the recently concluded meeting of countries at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The report stated that “Ambassador Lourdes O. Yparraguirre, Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations, issued her warning before a hundred UN legal experts in a June 10 forum organized by the Philippines that focused on the protection and preservation of the marine environment. With the theme, “UNCLOS and the Protection of the Marine Environment,” the event was held at the sidelines of the week-long 25th Meeting of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (SPLOS) at the UN Headquarters.”

(Source: Jane Perlez, the New York Times)

For a detailed discussion on this issue, please click the link hereunder.

http://www.interaksyon.com/article/112377/south-china-sea-in-environmental-crisis-due-to-beijings-reclamation-un-forum-told

For related story by Jane Perlez, New York Times, please refer to this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/17/world/asia/china-building-airstrip-in-disputed-spratly-islands-satellite-images-show.html?_r=0

Tubbataha Reef: A Long Reef Exposed At Low Tide

Tubbataha Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Since the discovery of the  Tubbataha in the late 1970’s, it has been recognized as one of the most remarkable coral reefs on our planet. The CNN travel website, cnngo.com, ranks it as among the top eight dive sites in the world.

According to the Wikipedia:

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Filipino: Bahurang Tubbataha) is a protected area of the Philippines located in the middle ofSulu Sea. The marine and bird sanctuary consists of two huge atolls (named the North Atoll and South Atoll) and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef covering a total area of 97,030 hectares (239,800 acres; 374.6 sq mi). It is located 150 kilometres (93 mi) southeast of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan province.[2] The uninhabited islands and reefs are part of the island municipality of Cagayancillo, Palawan, located roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) to the northeast of the reef.[2]

In December 1993, the UNESCO declared the Tubbataha Reefs National Park as a World Heritage Site as a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.[3] In 1999, Ramsar listed Tubbataha as one of the Wetlands of International Importance.[4] In 2008, the reef was nominated at the New 7 Wonders of Nature.[5]

The national park and the rest of the Philippine archipelago is part of the Coral Triangle, recognized as a center of marine biodiversity containing 75% of the described coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish.[6] The area is under a grave threat due to overfishing and destructive fishing practices.[7] Research of scientists visiting the reefs since the 1980s revealed that the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park contains no less than 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whalespecies, and 100 bird species. The reefs also serve as a nesting ground for Hawksbill and Green sea turtles.

Because of its isolated location, Tubbataha can only be visited on a liveaboard boat. Divers can experience the reefs’ dramatic underwater terrain, awe-inspiring biodiversity and encounter large marine animals such as sharks, turtles and manta rays.

Tubbataha is a combination of two Samal words which are “tubba” and “taha” which means, “a long reef exposed at low tide”.

Source: Youtube by DazzlingPhilippines.

As a visiting diver, you will play an important role in Tubbataha’s future, as your conservation fees provide the funds needed to protect the park from illegal exploitation.

(Photo: U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Anderson Bomjardim) March 20, 2013.

According to a report from Andrea Germanos, Staff Writer of Common Dreams, the United States has agreed to pay the $1.9 million in compensation for the damage to the reefs caused by U.S. Navy minesweeper.  And then, as early as the first quarter of 2015, local news in the Philippines carried a banner story about the Philippines receiving the amount for the rehabilitation of Tubbataha Reefs. 

According to Germanos, the USS Guardian rammed into the reefs and got stranded there for the next two months and had to be cut into pieces to be extricated.  This happened in January, 2013.

A UNESCO  World Heritage site, the park website describes it as being at the heart of the global center of marine biodiversity.

(ANDREA GERMANOS, STAFF WRITER OF  Common Dreams.)

Hereunder is a video about Going to Tubbataha Reefs, uploaded on youtube by Chris Hewett.

 

According to the website of Tubbataha Reefs, there  is one Manta Rays that is a resident of Tubbataha reefs.  Here’s the article:

Reef Manta Rays

Philippines’ first record of Manta alfredi

In 2012, using data collected by research volunteer consultant Dr Terry Aquino, marine scientist Dr Will White confirmed that the Manta Rays in Tubbataha are Manta alfredi, a reef based species, rather than Manta birostris, a pelagic species roaming the open seas.

This is exciting since there was previously no record of Manta alfredi in the Philippines.

The Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi) is found in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. However, actual populations seem to be sparsely distributed.

Manta alfredi is considered “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List Status and an average of 30% decline in its population is suspected. They have a low reproductive rate with females bearing a single pup only once in two to three years.

Mantas are majestic creatures, loved by scuba divers. They are highly sensitive to marine conditions and are therefore an important indicator of the health of the ocean ecosystems.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, in the township of Cagayancillo, a part of the Province of Palawan.

The website further stated that, “the park contains roughly 10,000 hectares of coral reef, lying at the heart of the Coral Triangle – the global centre of marine biodiversity.  Scientists have been visiting these reefs since the 1980s, and their research has shown that Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is home to no less than 600 species of fish, 360 species of corals (about half of all coral species in the world), 11 species of sharks, 13 species of dolphins & whales, 100 species of birds, and also nesting Hawksbill & Green sea turtles.”

For additional information, please check this link:

http://holidaytopalawan.com/tubbataha-reef/

How To Get There?

How to get here? You must go to Manila to book a flight to Puerto Princesa in Palawan. Once you’ve arrived there, dive operators will gladly guide you to the pier where the boat going to the reef is waiting. It’s a 10-hour ride to the park and usually, the boat drivers will suggest that you’ll leave at around after dinner so that you arrive there by early morning the next day. It may seem that it will eat a big time before you reach the reefs but I tell you, it’s worth it.

If you’re a diver and you haven’t been to the mystical Tubbataha Reefs then you’re missing out a big part of your diving life. It’s the best place to be.

Read more http://philippineblog.com/tag/how-to-go-to-tubbataha-reef/

Comment:

Since the Manta Alfredi is sensitive to marine conditions, it is, therefore, good to know, that for as long as these Manta Rays are present in Tubbataha, we can conclude that the reefs’ ecosystems are healthy.

The Management of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park had been actively engaged in various activities that allowed scuba divers and tourists to explore the reefs but on top of their agenda was the protection and conservation of Tubbataha.

For more topics about the Tubbataha Reefs, please visit this link: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653

http://www.islandream.com/philippines/tubbataha_map.htm

Map showing the Tubbataha Reefs.  Located in the middle of Sulu Sea between Palawan and Panay.

Acknowledgement:

Earthniversity is thanking its various sources of information and videos used in this post.  Thank you very much.

MOTHER EARTH SONG

Earthniversity

In the celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2015, Earthniversity would like to re-post this video. Hoping that this will inspire the readers to engage in activities that can protect and conserve the environment.

For LGUs (local government units) and communities around the world, the following programs and projects can be implemented in your local community to support the Earth Day celebration. These are the following:

1. Tree planting in selected areas which were identified by your local environment office.  This included mangroves tree planting.

2. Clean-up Drive along the coastal areas, river sides, creeks, waterways, parks, forest areas frequented by tourists who left the rubbish there.

3. Conduct of information, education and community consultation, workshop, or symposium on topics relevant to the protection and conservation of the environment.

4. Other activities you deem fit for your local community.

Earthniversity would like to recognize BlueGreenEarth for uploading this video…

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