Network taps USC Biology for outstanding marine areas search

USC’s Department of Biology together with its Marine Biology alumni have been tapped by the MPA Support Network (MSN) to be this year’s on-site evaluators for the Search for the 2021 Outstanding Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the Philippines. 

Thirteen locally-managed MPAs from all over the Philippines were shortlisted and Sumilon Island Fish Sanctuary is one of the Top 10 Finalists.  

The MSN has been holding the Para el MAR (PEM): MPA Awards and Recognition every two years since 2007 to showcase the country’s best performing MPAs and to provide a venue for Philippine MPA champions to share experiences and learn from each other.  

This year’s PEM is for the Sumilon Island Fish Sanctuary in Oslob, Cebu. The sanctuary is the first MPA in the Philippines established in 1974. The research works conducted by local and international scientists in this area provided data on the benefits of a “no-take” sanctuary and guided the development of subsequent MPAs in the country.

Department of Biology personnel meet with Hon. Jose Tumulak Jr. (Municipal Mayor of Oslob, Cebu, center) and Municipal Agriculture Officer Processo Bodiano.

The MPA Support Network was formed in 2005 and is composed of various government agencies, non-government organizations, and academic institutions that work together for the sustainable development of the country’s coastal and marine resources. 

Furthermore, the network also aims to provide support to local MPA initiatives to improve and sustain MPA management in the country. Part of the MSN’s strategy is the adoption of an incentive system to recognize and award exemplary MPA management performance.  

The awarding ceremony will be held virtually on September 10, 2021.

Department of Biology personnel conducted interviews with the stakeholders of the Sumilon Island Fish Sanctuary, Barangay Bangcogon, Oslob.

Reported by Annie Diola, M.S., Department of Biology

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