Redeem The Reefs
A Reward Project
The Verde Island Passage is home to over 300 species of coral. Considered the largest concentration of corals in the country, and possibly, the whole world, this strait that separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro is one of the richest in marine biodiversity on the planet.
This area's richness has made it a popular destination for dive enthusiasts, a source of livelihood for fishermen, and has been considered as a candidate to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The seas of Batangas, a majority of which are within the Verde Island Passage are now in peril. Fish population and coral growth have dwindled. The seas and coastline have been severely degraded by unsustainable fishing practices and commercial vessels which anchor anywhere and damage corals. Signs of degradation are everywhere due to both natural and man-made causes. Garbage and trash mostly non-biodegradable plastic, end up in the coastline. A barren sea floor where corals used to be is a result of damage dealt by human mistakes. The reefs need our help!!!
It is a team of passionate individuals consisting of marine biologists, nature and ocean lovers, and divers, who aim to rehabilitate a part of the seas and coastline of Mabini Batangas within the Verde Island Passage.
Paradiso Rito Resort embarked on the creation of an artificial reef in its underwater sandy frontage to house corals, promote the proliferation of Giant Clams and eventually serve as a haven where fish could multiply. Have a look at what we have started underwater in front of the resort. We combined Art and Science and deployed substrates: steel sculptures of the Twelve Apostles – “Fishers of Men” and supine crosses filled with rocks, on which corals could grow and the Giant Clams could rest. Already we have developed a mini marine ecosystem that nourishes corals, giant clams, and attracts fishes into the previously barren area.
We want to build on the momentum of what we have started: to deploy more substrates and lay down more Giant Clams. With your contribution we can help reverse the damage done to our coral reefs, improve the marine biodiversity of our seas, and eventually provide livelihood to our seaside communities. We want to spread the advocacy for Redeeming the Reefs through education and social development. This project is not just cosmetic, because the positive interconnection between the corals, clams and fish, will help save the oceans and thus save the earth!!!
For US$ donations, you may deposit at BPI US$ account no.
Bank of The Philippines Islands
Paraiso Bay Sands Inc.
Verde Island Passage (VIP) is considered to be the center of the center of marine biodiversity. VIP connects the surrounding provinces of Batangas, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro and Romblon.
The Giant Clam is a clam that is the largest living bivalve mollusk and is one of the most endangered clam species. If we were to install an abundant amount of clams, it would increase the fish population in the area. Their tissues are food for a wide array of predators and scavengers, while their discharges of different chemicals are eaten by opportunistic feeders. The shells and cavities of giant clams provide substrate for colonization by different microorganisms. They also serve as water filtering towards eutrophication. Unfortunately, giant clams are under great pressure from overfishing and extirpations which are also detrimental to coral reefs. A greater understanding of the numerous contributions giant clams provide will reinforce the case for their conservation.
Giant Clams in the Philippines are in danger of local extinction. This is due to overharvesting, stealing, and habitat destruction.
Restoration : the act of bringing a degraded ecosystem back into, as nearly as possible, its original condition. Rehabilitation : the act of partially or, more rarely, fully replacing structural or functional characteristics of an ecosystem that have been diminished or lost, or the substitution of alternative qualities or characteristics than those originally present with the proviso that they have more social, economic or ecological value than existed in the disturbed or degraded state. Remediation : the act or process of remedying or repairing damage to an ecosystem. (Source: Reef Rehabilitation, Dr. Ed Gomez)
The Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2004 report estimates that 20% of the world's coral reefs have been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery: that 24% of the world's reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures: and that a further 26% are under a longer term threat of collapse. Until about 20 years ago it seemed that the biggest threats to coral reefs were from chronic human disturbances such as increased sedimentation resulting from land-use change and poor watershed management, sewage discharges, nutrient loading and eutrophication from changing agricultural practices, coral mining, and overfishing. (Source: Reef Rehabilitation, Dr. Ed Gomez)
As well as preventing coastal erosion, coral reefs provide food and livelihoods for hundreds of millions of coastal people in over 100 countries via the harvestable marine resources that they generate, and through tourists attracted by their beauty, biodiversity and white sand beaches that they support and protect. At least half a billion people around the world are thought to be partially or wholly reliant on coral reef resources for their livelihoods. These livelihoods include fishing, gleaning, mariculture, the marine aquarium trade, and a wide range of employment and commercial opportunities associated with tourism. They are also a promising source of novel pharmaceuticals treating diseases such as cancer and AIDS. (Source: Reef Rehabilitation, Dr. Ed Gomez)
As we embarked on the creation of an artificial reef, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Barangay Council of Mabini, in which they recognized the existence of the substrates as an artificial reef and its need. They further agreed to protect them together with us from illegal fishing and poaching. With their help and cooperation, the reef may someday be officially declared as a Marine Reserve. As to the Giant Clams presently deployed onto the substrates, these were purchased from the UP-Marine Science Institute (MSI) in Bolinao, complete with the requisite permits to own and transfer to Paradiso Rito. With the support and collaboration with UP-MSI, the reef may hopefully be a future satellite for MSI’s scientific research and education of future marine biologists.