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Freeman Metro Cebu

NGO to evaluate condition of Talisay marine sanctuaries

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CEBU, Philippines - The Talisay City government has tapped a non-government organization to evaluate the condition of its two marine protected areas, namely, the Lagundi Reef in barangay Poblacion and Pungaton Reef in barangay Pooc.

This after the city council approved Tuesday Proposed Resolution No. 2011-25-6 which requests Mayor Socrates Fernandez to authorize the Knight-Stewards of the Sea, Inc. (Seaknights) “to investigate and evaluate the condition of the two reefs.”

The Seaknights is a faith-based organization which focuses on the sustainable use of the country’s marine resources.

The group is composed of environment divers that were instrumental in the rehabilitation of the Lagundi Reef from 2006 until the city government commissioned a different team of divers.

But despite the fact, free of charge, the Seaknights conducted cleanup activities at the Lagundi Reef, which after they left it has been covered with fishing nets.

The group also surveyed the site shortly after it was rammed by MV Majuro in 2009.

Fr. Charlie Orobia, OAR, vice president of the Seaknights, said that if this MPA would be neglected for too long it won’t take long to see it totally devastated.

Presently, the three-hectare reef has become a fishing ground for small- and large-scale fishermen, thus, the presence of nets underwater.

Pooc’s Pungaton Reef faces the same situation: not only has it been a favorite location for dynamite fishing for many years, local fishermen had scraped the bottom of small corals.

Last May, six local fishermen were caught in barangay Cansojong with a boatload of massive corals.

Saddened by this present condition, the Seaknights led by its president Fr. Tito Soquiño, OSA visited last month Vice Mayor Alan Bucao, being chairman on council committee on Tourism, to offer help to the city government. – THE FREEMAN

CHARLIE OROBIA

KNIGHT-STEWARDS OF THE SEA

LAGUNDI REEF

LAST MAY

MAYOR SOCRATES FERNANDEZ

POBLACION AND PUNGATON REEF

POOC

PUNGATON REEF

SEAKNIGHTS

TALISAY CITY

TITO SOQUI

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