We hear about the destruction of ocean life and the impact our lifestyles have on the environment in general. What we don’t get to see that often is the positive impact that sustainability efforts have on ocean life. Then there is Apo Island in the Philippines where local firshermen were convinced by mrine scientist, Dr. Angel Alcala, to create a marine sanctuary instead of overfishing the area which would have led to the destruction of their reef system. The island itself is a 12 hectare volcanic island hosting only two resorts complete with dive centers.
Apo has come to be known as one of the best examples of community-organized marine sanctuaries. It took three years of communicating with the local fishermen but Dr. Alcala was successful and with the help of the Silliman University Marine Laboratory and the locals, an area 450 meters along the shoreline and 500 meters out from shore was selected in 1982. This conservation effort led the way for the creation of hundreds of marine sanctuaries in the Philippines and is proof that community driven conservation efforts really does have an impact and even though it takes some time to see that impact, it is nonetheless worth it every time.
Description of the video by the creator:
A short impression of the underwater world of Apo Island. Apo is one of the most successful sanctuaries in Asia, in the 80′s the reef was almost destroyed by destructive and unsustainable fishing practices. With the help of the local community, the reef has completely recovered, turtles are plentiful and the resident school of jacks has returned. Apo is a perfect example of what a marine sanctuary that’s run properly can achieve.
You can watch the original video here.