The ocean is dying (2) » Manila Bulletin News



Floro M. Mercene

By Floro Mercene


Rowan Jacobsen wrote: “For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands.”

“It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.”

There were many factors that caused the death of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) but among them were drilling for oil and mining and the death blow was global warming.

The uncontrolled use of fossil fuels such as carbon, oil, and natural gas dumped hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide in the oceans, raising its temperature that spawned super-typhoons and caused the mass bleaching of corrals.

Other known corral formations that were affected were the South Pacific’s Coral Triangle, the Florida Reef off the Florida Keys, and most other coral reefs on earth.

Joshua Jackson visited The Coral Triangle, site of the most diversified marine formations on the planet, where the Philippines belongs, along with Indonesia, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea in the Solomon Islands.

Luckily, the corral triangle appears intact but it is threatened by a proposed mining operation in Batangas, whose tailings could impact on Verde Island’s marine life.

Apo Island in the Visayas is next on Jackson’s itinerary.

Accompanied by a guide, Rene, who teaches at Siliman University, Joshua and a fisherman named Cenon and his son Jory went spearfishing. Underwater, the camera pans on a lifeless seabed.

They went home without catching anything, Cenon who used to dine on fresh fish daily, served canned fish to his guest.

Jackson interviewed Dr. Laura David, an oceanographer, who told them that most Filipinos, living on the fringes of the islands, get their protein from the sea.

“If they can not get it by fishing, they have to get their protein supply on land, but we have limited land.”

Jackson said 63 million Filipinos are dependent on the sea and the bounty it provides for their survival.

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