P8M reef bud project starts in Camiguin

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MAMBAJAO, CAMIGUIN, Aug. 8 (PIA) — Some 450 reef buds were installed in three sites here, after typhoon Pablo ravaged the Cantaan Giant Clam Sanctuary and shattered live coral cover in the island, last year. Image

Each unit is a mixture of both organic and inorganic composite artificial reef, molded in coconut husk to mimic underwater calcification. 

This project was initiated to demonstrate application of successful coral reef rehabilitation technology. A technique, along with other local management intervention, devised to improve the country’s ecosystem resilience in the face of climate change. 

The Philippine Coral Reef Resources Assessment and Conservation Program (PhilCORE) implemented this in the province along with Boracay and Verde Island in Batangas. 

It released P8-million for Camiguin through the Department of Environment and Natural Resource – Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (DENR-PAWB), while the Sangkalikasan Cooperative likewise spearheaded the actual rehabilitation activities through the fabrication and deployment of reef buds, coral asexual reproduction, and training of local beneficiaries. 

Sangkalikasan Group Marine Biologist Elpidio Olaer III said site assessment and validation activities were conducted prior to the dropping of the buds to avoid adverse impact on adjacent coral reefs. 

Olaer noted that it takes around 150 reef buds to cover a single hectare, with droppings gauged at an average of 10-20 units per day by use of modified bamboo rafts or balsa. 

“Considering the funds and mobility of the team, deployment of reef buds will temporarily cover selected Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of Mambajao, after which will be replicated to other areas in the province,” he added. (PIA)

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