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Cebu News

Gov’t soon to regulate diving in Malapascua

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Diving in Malapascua Island will soon be regulated in line with the government’s effort to protect thresher sharks.

Daan Bantayan Vice Mayor Maria Luisa Loot explained that the thresher sharks are diving attractions in the island so it is important to prevent overcrowding in dive sites, something seen to disturb the sharks.

Malapascua Island is located across a shallow strait from the northernmost tip of mainland Cebu.

Malapascua is known for its fine beaches, coral gardens and dive spots including Monad Shoal, an underwater plateau where thresher sharks and manta rays can be seen on a regular basis.

To date, this is reportedly the only place in the world where divers can reliably see thresher sharks, one of the few shark species known to jump fully out of the water making turns like dolphins.

Loot said that thresher sharks normally show up at 5 a.m.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia pointed out that she does not want the situation to be similar to the unregulated quarrying of sands in the island, and recommended that diving in Malapascua be regulated just like in Cordova town.

Members of the Malapascua Task Force recently convened to discuss the status of various projects and concerns in the island, such as the closure of illegal structures, livelihood and tourism among others.

The province is likewise set to approve a regulation prohibiting motorized vehicles since they cause noise “not in accordance with the eco-tourism plan of the island”.

Malapascua barangay captain Rex Novabos had said they are monitoring the existence of these vehicles but lamented that there is no ordinance prohibiting their operation. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/BRP

DAAN BANTAYAN VICE MAYOR MARIA LUISA LOOT

GOVERNOR GWENDOLYN GARCIA

MALAPASCUA

MEMBERS OF THE MALAPASCUA TASK FORCE

MITCHELLE L

MONAD SHOAL

PLACE

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