At the beginning of 2017 Blue Orchid Resort in MoalBoal, Cebu, Philippines took direct action regarding the global problem of marine trash by Adopting its wonderful house reef situated 150 meters of shore. We agreed to conduct monthly Dive Against Debris specialty training seminars with both staff and the guests who stay at our resort. Following on from the training sessions we conduct afternoon clean ups and report the data directly back to Project AWARE for inclusion in their growing global picture of marine trash.
To date we have conducted two events the first being in January and the most recent held in February. During both events we have successfully trained 5 divers in the specialty, involved over 15 guests and local staff and have managed to remove over 14kg of trash.
We are happy to announce that our reef is super healthy and relatively clean compared with other problem areas throughout Asia.
The topography of our house reef is a shallow Corel reef shelf of depth around 5mtrs which gentle slopes down to a maximum depth of 24meters. From here there is a sand plateau followed by a second wall which vertically drops to a depth exceeding 50meters. The reef itself consists of a mixture of both hard and soft corals in a very healthy state with less than 1% displaying any signs of heat stress or coral bleaching. Recently we had begun to notice an increase in Crown of Thorn star fish which we have successfully dealt with and will continue to monitor.
Aquatic life on our reef is abundant hence why fisherman frequent the area generally targeting larger fish specials including Mackeral, Trevelly, Jacks, Tuna etc. We have incredibly diverse species including many varieties of angelfish, butterfly, damsel, parrot, pipefish, chromis, scorpion, Anthis right through to sea turtles and a variety of Nudibranch. We have even observed and identified such rarities as Manderin fish and Ornate Ghost Pipefish.
Our biggest trash problem so far recorded is discarded fishing line caught up in the hard corals. Not only is this unsightly but it also presents a hazard to both divers and marine life.In the two clean ups so far conducted we have cleaned an area in excess of 700sq mtrs but there is a lot more reef to be done.
Our next Dive Against Debris event is set for 27th February and we invite both guests of our resort and none guests to get involved and do something positive for ocean conservation.
Working towards a cleaner ocean - one dive at a time.