Philippines dive-resort claims coral coup
A dive-resort in Anda on the island of Bohol has claimed to have achieved the most successful coral-breeding programme in the Philippines. More than 40,000 corals have already been grown, according to the Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa, with a claimed propagation success rate of 89%.
Bigs Eggert, the German owner of the resort’s dive-centre, says she was prompted to develop the programme not by desolate house reefs but by the areas that contained nothing but sand and others of storm-damaged corals. The resort is set on a nine-mile stretch of reef.
“Recently we have joined Mission 2020, a global campaign to reduce CO2 emissions which is supported by the dive industry through own projects and pledges,” says Eggert. “We are aiming to grow at least 20,000 more corals by the end of 2020.
20 January 2019
“As soon as this goal is reached, we plan to turn the programme into a long-term and sustainable non-profit organisation, in order to be able to permanently finance divemaster and marine-biologist training for local people, in co-operation with companies.”
The propagated corals are Acropora horrida, intermadia and robusta, and the area has been declared a marine sanctuary and is guarded 24 hours a day.
Five marine biologists from Bohol Island State University have now received scuba-diving training from Amun Ini Dive so that they can participate in the programme continuously.
Local fishermen were said to have been sceptical about the sanctuary initially but to have been converted into “eager advocates of the concept” after Amun Ini Dive offered them diving training so that they could see the programme’s benefits for themselves.
Diving guests at Amun Ini Beach Resort & Spa who wish to participate in the programme receive the corresponding dives for free.