Tubbataha Reef photo from here
Do you know that the Philippines is home to at least 4,951 species of marine plants and animals? With a vast number of marine species some scientists have claimed the Philippine Seas as the world’s center of marine biodiversity.
Whale Shark in Sorsogon photo from here
However, though the Philippines is richly blessed with its marine environment, it’s saddening that there are still people who abuse our marine resources out of personal greediness. I mean, who wouldn’t feel infuriated after knowing that coral reefs twice the size of Manila was destroyed because of poachers who have been harvesting endangered coral reefs and sea turtles in Mindanao. Please see the news below from Inquirer.net:
Coral reefs twice size of Manila destroyed
Poachers ‘rape’ seas off Cotabato
MANILA, Philippines—The crime was described as “the rape of the ocean.”
Poachers decimated an entire “reef complex”—almost twice as big as Manila—off the coast of Cotabato province when they harvested more than 21,000 pieces of black coral and killed 161 endangered turtles and other marine life, officials said Tuesday.
One of the turtles killed was a male aged 80 to 100 years old.
Bureau of Customs officials intercepted the contraband two weeks ago and recovered 134 bundles, or 21,169 pieces, of “sea fan” black corals and 15 bundles, or 196 kilograms, of “sea whip” black corals.
You can continue reading the news here.
I was really stunned when I heard the news. And I was even more surprised when I found out that violators of the Fisheries Code of 1998 that prohibits the selling of corals, have a fine of only Php 2,000 to Php 20,000 and only six months to two years imprisonment. I mean, really? A fine of only Php 2,000 to Php 20,000? A lifetime wouldn’t even be enough to bring back all the endangered coral reefs and animals they have destroyed. I think it is about time for our senators to revise and make more effective laws.
It really saddens me whenever I hear stories of people who recklessly exploit our marine environment to gain profit. I bet that their hearts have already been hardened by their selfish desires to become rich. If we want our future grand children and great grand children to still witness the beauty of our Philippine Seas, let us all do our part to protect and take care of our marine environment while it’s not yet too late. Let’s become more vigilant and make sure that the court case of those poachers in Mindanao wouldn’t be left unclosed.
Moreover, let us always remember every time we go to the seas that it’s still their world…
photo from here
and we are the invaders. So let us not harm them and we should always strive to protect them.
photo from here
This post was written to contribute to the Blog Action Day to save the Philippine Seas. My post is about one day late but I know I could still make an effort to create awareness to save our seas. Feel free to join as well. 🙂 You can visit the site here.