Monday, February 11, 2013

Underwater Videos in Front of Casabangan Beach

Casabangan Beach from a high vantage point
Casabangan Beach along the shore
The following videos uploaded on YouTube were taken underwater in front of Casabangan Beach, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro. They illustrate the devastation of the coral reefs in the area but they also provide a glimmer of hope for nature. All need not be lost if the leadership of the local community step-up and provide just that--leadership. A marine sanctuary is in the works. With the ordinance in place and strict enforcement, the local fishermen should catch more fish outside the sanctuary in as little as three years.

1st video:

According to Ka Porek (our farm manager), there were many sea turtle shells left to rot in Casabangan many years ago. That was before the ban on capturing sea turtles. Today, we are fortunate to be visited by one or two sea turtles, which typically bob their heads above water for just a few seconds. In my previous trip to Mansalay, a local spear fisherman by the name of Benazir informed me that a resident sea turtle lives just around the corner of Casabangan Beach towards Sukbong Kugon. He said it measured about one (1) meter in length. I thought this was too good to be true, given the devastation I have observed all over the bay. On this trip, my mission was to find our resident sea turtle, who I would name Benazir (after the local spear fisherman who told me about it in the first place); that is, if I even find it. Lo and behold, during my first dive around the vicinity of the alleged habitat of the sea turtle, I saw it--our resident sea turle, Benazir, with a suckerfish attached to its back. I think it's a Hawksbill sea turtle (a critically endangered sea turtle) that is quite mature. I would also estimate its length to be about 1 meter, which is about as big as it gets. Below is a brief film clip of my second sighting of Benazir on my first dive around his habitat. I dove in the same vicinity the following day and saw Benazir again on two separate occasions during that second dive. Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera (battery low) to record the event.

2nd video:

Baby Pawikan
(I hope this will be revived in Casabangan. There is none left today, except for Benazir.)

Additional underwater videos in front of Casabangan Beach:
3rd video:
4th video:
5th video:
6th video:
7th video:
8th video:

In contrast, the following video in front of Twin Rocks, Anilao, Batangas (a marine sanctuary) illustrates the impressive recovery of marine resources.

No comments:

Post a Comment