PCG reminds Tubbataha divers of ‘no touch policy’
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - March 1, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - With the diving season at the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park about to start, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recently reminded divers of the “touch me not” policy when it comes to the rich marine biodiversity found in this United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) protected area.  

“The divers are not allowed to fish, use spears, touch corals or harvest sea clams and other marine creatures. These activities are really a no-no. The divers can only take pictures. Everything here are touch me nots,” said PCG Palawan district commander Commodore George Ursabia.

He added that there would be Tubbataha Park rangers who would conduct random inspections of the boats used by divers.

“The park rangers would reiterate to them the do’s and don’ts while they are in the Tubbataha area,” Ursabia said.

Before they leave the park, the divers have to inform the rangers who again would then make sure that no violation was indeed committed.

The diving season at the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, regarded as one of the most beautiful dive sites in the world, often starts in late March and lasts until June.

Diving     regulations

Ursabia said they would meet with other concerned government agencies and boat operators on Tuesday to further discuss the diving regulations.

The PCG, meanwhile, would lay down the vessel safety regulations to the boat operators including securing boat safety certificates, complete life saving equipment; and compliance with manning requirements.

The operators would also have to be reminded that while at the Tubbataha area, their boats would have to maintain a safe distance to make sure that their hull would not damage the corals beneath them.

Since they are also not allowed to drop their anchors in the area, Ursabia said the operators could tie their boats to the mooring buoys to make sure that these would not drift away.

 

COMMODORE GEORGE URSABIA CULTURAL ORGANIZATION PALAWAN PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD TUBBATAHA TUBBATAHA PARK TUBBATAHA REEFS NATURAL PARK UNITED NATIONS EDUCATIONAL URSABIA
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