Mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs are the main tropical coastal ecosystems. They are complementary and essential for maintaining natural processes such as nutrient transport, animal life cycles and food webs. Within the Pangatalan Island Marine Protected Area (PIMPA), these ecosystems cover an area of 17.79 ha or 39.6% of its total area.
(forests, mangroves, coral reefs)
(plants, corals, fish)
Our restoration efforts began on Pangatalan Island because deforestation had caused soil erosion, the disappearance of birds and insects, and the mangroves had been illegally burned to produce charcoal. From 2011 to 2020 we have planted about 80,000 trees, including 12,000 mangrove propagules. The effort continues to ensure sustainable vegetation growth as well as soil restructuring.
Coral reef restoration
In Shark Fin Bay, as elsewhere in the Philippines, large amounts of coral have been destroyed by dynamite fishing. In 2016 we created artificial reef modules to support our coral cuttings and increase the natural resilience of coral reefs: the Sulu-Reef-Prosthesis (SRP). These artificial reefs also provide new habitats for marine life and are designed and manufactured on the island. All types of corals can be attached without any plastic or chemical components, only by means of pressure. The SRPs also allow natural re-growth of corals, the first results show a survival rate of 76.6% and an attachment rate of 70.9% in the first year. From 2017 to 2020 we have attached approximately 2,000 coral fragments to our SRPs. We are continuing our studies on the artificial reefs’ impact on reef communities, and our research to improve our restoration process.
In 2022 we start a fish restocking programme with the goal to release around 40,000 juveniles per year into marine protected areas. The technique used is the Post-larvae Capture-Culture-Release (PCC) developed by our partner Ecocean. The post-larvae are captured in the wild, then raised for 2 to 3 months in a controlled environment, and finally released according to protocols that allow them to maintain their wild behavior and to best ensure their survival. This technique increases post-larvae survival by about 85% and increase wild populations. Alternative livelihood, such as sustainable fish farms, will also be developed with the local communities.