Tubbataha reef (#62A, added 12 Jan '98)

This is a typically colorful reef view from Tubbataha Reef, located in the Sulu Sea about 110 miles east of Palawan Island, Philippines. At one time this dive spot was rated one of the top ten in the world. In the 1980's, Tubbataha suffered tremendous damage from exploitation by commercial and subsistence fishermen, often using destructive fishing techniques. The outlook was very bleak for Tubbataha when a commercial company proposed operating a large seaweed farm there (later beginning the operation without sanction anyway). Fortunately in 1988 the Philippine government intervened, finally declaring the location Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park, covering approximately 30,000 hectares. The illegal seaweed factory was shut down and since then the reef's condition is reported to have improved immensely.

The latest dive trip reports from Tubbataha indicate there is very little dynamite damage, with 100 per cent coral coverage. Fortunately the remote location of Tubbataha isolates the reef from the effects of soil runoff due to deforestation, which continues to devastate reefs near many of the Philippine islands.

More information (links) concerning Tubbataha Reefs National Marine Park:

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