The following projects are projects we have currently running or are part of continuous efforts by MCP. Only the larger projects are described. Activities like the continuous beach cleanups and smaller projects on base that have to do with improving the facilities are not explained.

Baseline survey

One of our main activities is monitor the coast of Zamboanguita and parts of Dauin and Siaton. We do this to show the changes is the amount of species and amount of animals/plants along the coast, which gives us an idea of the effectiveness of the protection that is put in place, and shows us possible threats as well. This will help policy makers more effectively manage the protected areas reduce those threats.

As regulating fisheries and over-fishing is the most important factor in protecting the ecosystems here, we first focused on monitoring fish species. But as there are over 300 fish species in the Philippines, we cannot look at all the fish species at the same time, especially since many of our volunteers are not trained scientists. We would therefore only like to look at a subset of species, which are ecologically or commercially important, or are indicative of a specific threat. This way, we can make the monitoring less complicated. This selection of species is our set of “indicator species”.

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Bais assessment

MCP was invited to help out the local governmental monitoring team in Bias, Negros Oriental to assess their biggest Marine Protected Area (MPA), encompassing an area of 55 hectares of coral reefs and seagrasses. The assessment was conducted in order to determine if their MPA showed signs of improvement over the 3 years since the last assessment in 2015 by Silliman University. Located approximately 2 hours north of the MCP base, Bais was an adventure which required our first ever expedition team of volunteers to stay at a remote location to complete the assessments.

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APCRS 2018

In June 2018, MCP’s conservation team set off to Cebu to present at the Asia Pacific Coral Reef Symposium,  a symposium that occurs every four years and brings together coral reef scientists from around the world. The topics presented by MCP were based on recent research: first, using technical diver based monitoring methods to assess mesophotic reefs; and second, assessing the accuracy of the data MCP collects, and how data collected using similar techniques can be made more accurate.

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