Exploring Basay’s shoreline – Marine Conservation Philippines

For these of you who should not accustomed to Basay, it’s the most western municipal of Negros Oriental dealing with the Sulu Sea, a few two hour drive from MCP. It’s a beautiful, little coastal city surrounded by rice, sugar cane and corn fields with spectacular forested mountains simply behind. With a Marine Protected Space of 40 hectares fringing the shoreline, we had been about to seek out out what Basay needed to supply.

MCP had an thrilling alternative to go to this beautiful a part of the nation. The Fisherfolk President of Andulay/President of the Fisherfolk Affiliation of Negros Oriental, had kindly invited us to help Basay with photographing their native reef.. We had been delighted to assist the native barangays and group discover their “enchanted” coral reefs and coves to find and {photograph} what wonders had been discovered beneath the floor. We additionally needed to assist promote eco-friendly tourism.

At 5.30am three divemaster trainees, (Nina, Grace and Helene), and myself packed our gear and additional requirements that we would want for the journey. We drank sufficient espresso to final us the journey and we had been on the highway simply in time for dawn (one thing we’re all approach too lazy to stand up to see often haha). Driving South alongside the coastal highway from MCP, on to Siaton and up round Bayawan, with presumably the best roadtrip chillout music, we arrived at 8.30am prepared for a morning briefing (and extra espresso). We had been completely shocked by the group’s welcome and the great thing about the world. The native president of the Fisherfolk Affiliation, Rico, briefed us in regards to the MPA and what may be seen. After a boodle combat breakfast (a Filipino barehanded standing up help-yourself  buffet) we kitted up and jumped in together with divers from Siaton.

After we descended we had been blown away by the mountainous reef panorama.  We had been amazed by coral towers as tall and extensive as two retailer homes, crevices, swim-throughs and darkish overhangs all through the entire dive. The newest MPA evaluation by the DENR documented Bamboo sharks, which we had been actually hoping to see, however with restricted exploration time sadly didn’t (Subsequent time!). It’s positively the kind of reef the place you’ll anticipate to see these predators. We had been most impressed by the exhausting and smooth coral cowl, large desk corals stretching out, and excessive numbers of fish and invertebrates. It’s exhausting to explain measurement of large clams, however we noticed GIANT large clams tucked into the substrate, spiny lobsters hiding within the partitions of the coral towers, and many various species of nudibranch, a few of which I’ve by no means seen earlier than. We even noticed an enormous triton alive! (tremendous uncommon to see sadly). We had fusiliers circling round us, peacock groupers shying away from us, many various species of parrot fish, wrasses and snappers, all signifying a wholesome reef. All of us famous, and had been pleasantly shocked, how little trash/fishing line, anchor harm we noticed. Although the visibility wasn’t nearly as good because it might have been we had been nonetheless fairly mesmerized. My favorite a part of the dive was coming as much as our security cease, hovering over these beautiful towers, with the sunshine coming by, making an attempt to peak down into the cracks to see what we will discover. The crew, our floor assist, free dived all the way down to proudly level out corals and marine life ensuring we noticed it ALL earlier than ascending.

We ended our day with an enormous thanks from Rico, Neil and the group of Basay and drove again with the reminiscence playing cards full  and the solar setting behind us.

Till subsequent time Basay… 

Aoibheann Gillespie-Mules

Volunteer Coordinator/MSDT

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