Touching corals punishable by law in the Philippines

Touching corals punishable by law in the Philippines

Sun, 19/04/2015 - 20:25

Scuba divers were warned yesterday by the provincial chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Negros Oriental that touching corals is punishable by law.

(File photo) Philippine reef landscape. Look, but do not touch!

PENRO chief Charlies Fabre has issued a warning to visiting scuba divers after at least two photos had been posted on Facebook by an environmentalist who frequented Apo Island showing a diver using a poker and touching corals. It turned out that this was a somewhat common practice among some scuba divers.

Fabre said he would ask the Protected Area Superintendent Efren Rombawa, who is also the chief of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office on Apo Island, to look into the matter.

Fabre admitted that guides from dive shops may also be held responsible for this particular violation. He added that under the law, they were not supposed to act as guides for scuba divers. He said this is not the first time his office had received reports of divers touching the corals on Apo Island.


Press releases from Divers Alert Network (DAN)