Just when people thought that portions of Manila Bay are dead and incapable of sheltering marine life, a group of divers accidentally discovered a coral garden in Ternate, Cavite last May 17.
The dive was originally intended to install four marker buoys for the boundaries of the Core Zone of Ternate Marine Park (Tmp) and two artificial reefs.
It was held in celebration of the Month of the Ocean 2021 in collaboration between the Coastal and Marine Management of Cavite Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro), Coast Guard Station Cavite, Ternate’s Local Government Unit (LGU), and the Caylabne Bay Resort Management.
Professional and volunteer divers discovered 160.132 square meters of a coral garden within the Core Zone of Tmp.
“It was found approximately 20 meters away from the seashore and 26 feet deep,” says Andrea Panganiban, Development Management Officer II of Penro Cavite.
“There are soft and hard corals with indicator species within. It could be opened for ecotourism such as responsible diving,” she added.
Panganiban furthered that the discovery of a coral garden in Tmp will boost the morale of the Ternate community, thus urging them to protect the area from over-fishing.
“The purpose of Tmp is to boost eco-tourism and promote fish abundance,” she said.
The corals were discovered by a team of volunteer divers led by Gerard Galza, a dive instructor certified by the Italy-based Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (Cmas) and Mario Elumba, course director of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (Padi). Manila Bay is situated in the western part of Luzon and is bounded by Cavite and Metro Manila on the east, Bulacan, and Pampanga on the north, and Bataas on the west and northwest.