Philippines

Howard Johnson, Anilao Scuba Dive Centre, Shala Caliao, scuba diving news, PPE, COVID-19, face masks, plastic pollution, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, X-Ray Mag, XRay Magazine, Philippines
Polymeric materials used in face masks can be a potential source of plastic and break down into microplastic pollution.

Abandoned face masks found on Philippine reef

The popular dive spot is southeast of the Philippine capital, Manila.

BBC Philippine correspondent Howard Johnson joined dive professionals from Anilao Scuba Dive Centre as they resumed diving, following the national lockdown. The dive centre is affiliated to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Fins, which promotes sustainable marine tourism in South-East Asia.

South China Sea row: Hague Tribunal rules in favor of Philippines, China to ignore decision

South China Sea: International Tribunal backs Philippines in case against China

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, including reefs and islands also claimed by others. The Permanent Court of Arbitration said there was no evidence that China had historically exercised exclusive control over the waters or resources.

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

Touching corals punishable by law in the Philippines

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.

Malapascua Island: Where thresher sharks roam

As picture perfect as Malapascua is, in a nation of 7,107 palm tree fringed islands, 2.5km long Malapascua wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar were it not for the thresher sharks that treat the island like a spa. Each morning as the sun peeks over the mountains on distant Cebu, Pelagic threshers rise from the depths to be cleaned by reef fish along a deep ledge known as Monad Shoal.

Beyond the Muck

Muck diving is a term used quite frequently these days that can be applied to either a dive site, a type of diving or even an entire region like Lembeh Strait in Indonesia or Anilao in the Philippines.

These areas of the Indo-Pacific have consistently ranked amongst the highest in terms of high coral counts, reef fish and of course the high impact Holy Grail of critters.