Local Autonomy: A Key to Protection of the Ecosystem
Apo Island's Protected Landscape and Seascape
Publisher: Dissident Voice
Date Written: 29/05/2018
Year Published: 2018
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX22624
In his book, The Plundered Seas, Michael Berrill called the Grand Banks and Georges Bank maybe the saddest story of overfishing.Berrills solution was the management of Large Marine Ecosystems.
Apo Island is very dependent on fishing for sustenance. But over the years, a decline in catch was noticed and fishers were having to venture farther offshore to catch fish.
Apo Island found a solution: the establishment of a marine sanctuary. This venture was led by Dr. Angel Alcala, a marine scientist from Silliman University. Apo Islander Mario Pascobello, owner of a family-operated diving and homestay business, told of the sensitive negotiations undertaken to persuade fisherfolk to accede to a sanctuary and dissuade them from deleterious fishing practices -- among them dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing, muro-ami, and using nets with overly small mesh.
Pascobello related that initially the islanders agreed to 10 percent of the waters being designated a marine sanctuary. When the results turned out favorably, with an increase in near-shore catch, the Apo Islanders agreed to expand the sanctuary.
Pascobello noted that the Apo Island success has led to the establishment of over one thousand marine sanctuaries throughout the Philippines. Pascobello even was invited to Bunaken Island in Indonesia to share the Apo Island experience that helped lead to the setting up of a marine reserve there.