UPMSI-MERF members assess the life underwater in two marine protected areas at Sipaway Island, San Carlos City.
UPMSI-MERF members assess the life underwater in two marine protected areas at Sipaway Island, San Carlos City.SAN CARLOS CIO PHOTO

UPMSI-MERF assesses protected areas in Sipaway Island

The University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute-Marine Environment and Resources Foundation Inc. (UPMSI-MERF), in partnership with RARE Philippines Fish Forever program, conducted an underwater marine assessment in the two Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at Sipaway Island, April 18.

The team, led by UPMSI-MERF members Melchor Deocades, Mae Angeline Paradela, and Roland Villafuerte were assisted by City Environment Management Office-Coastal Resource Management Division (CEMO-CRMD) divers headed by MPA In-Charge Oscar Molas.

Deocades said that the MPA sites in Ermita and San Juan have been under their office's monitoring for ten years, with assessments conducted every two years.

These sites are alumni project sites of the RARE Philippines Fish Forever Campaign.

The selected alumni MPA sites include LGUs from Libertad (Province of Iloilo), San Carlos City (Negros Occidental), Ayungon, and Bindoy (Negros Oriental), as well as Ipil (Zamboanga Sibugay) and Tinambac (Camarines Sur).

He added that during their consistent monitoring and observation of these MPAs, San Carlos City emerged as one of the top alumni sites, boasting high fish biomass and coral cover compared to other MPAs.

He also expressed hope that the LGU will continue to support programs, projects, and the preservation of marine protected areas for the benefit of fisherfolk and local communities.

The UPMSI-MERF underwater assessment with the RARE Philippines Fish Forever Fishing For Climate Resilience Project aimed at strengthening and sustaining the MPA management and foster collaboration among communities and local government units (LGUs). (PR)

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