A report during the Coral Triangle Initiative conference in Cairns on Monday, July 9 declared some 40 percent of the Philippines’ coral “poor.” This percentage was up from previous 27 percent.
According to Dr. Theresa Mundita Lim, director of the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB), the health of the coral areas is diminishing in the Philippines due to interdependent factors.
She said the marine areas in the Philippines were affected by the issues common to many Southeast Asian countries such as overfishing, illegal fishing, oil spills, harmful wastes, and the growing number of coastal populations.
As one of the leading biodiversity hotspots in the world, this worsening condition of the corals may bring negative effects to the country. According to Prof. Terry Hughes from the Federation Fellow of ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, poor coral reefs will impact the Philippines when it comes to food security and sustainability.
During his recent visit in the country, Hughes said corals function as nurseries for small marine animals so they can grow and be mature for breeding and supplying brood stocks. Coral reefs help in rebuilding food webs and ensuring sustainable fish supplies.
Coral reefs also serve as tourist attractions in many marine spots in the country.