PCSSD, TMO to install mooring system in Apo Reef
Mid-August, the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) and Philippine Commission on Sports SCUBA Diving (PCSSD) completed the first phase the mooring buoys installation project for Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP). Tubbataha Reefs Protected Area Superintendent Angelique Songco personally went to ARNP to assist in the inspection and evaluation of proposed mooring sites and to determine the most appropriate mooring system to install in each site.
Tubbataha has been using an embedded mooring system since 2009. The system involves drilling and cementing of moorings underwater through the use of an hydraulic installation equipment. It provides a more stable mooring facility hence prevents further damage to coral reefs.
Having the prior experience in installing the said mooring system in Tubbataha Reefs, the TMO supports PCSSD’s conservation project for ARNP, which aims to develop Apo Reef and promote tourism in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
Apo Reef is located approximately 33 kilometers off the coast of Sablayan in the province of Occidental Mindoro. Its coral reefs cover a total area of 34 square kilometers, making it the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world. However, coral reefs in Apo Island are now facing serious damage caused by anchoring.