Thursday, July 2, 2015

Apo Island Marine Sanctuary

This one mile-long island in the Philippines is one of the world's first community-organized marine sanctuaries in the world that sparked the creation of 700+ other marine sanctuaries around the Philippines.

On the edge of fishing crisis due to dynamite and cyanide fishing in the 80's, the resident fishermen created a no-take sanctuary zone which served as a nursery to stock the surrounding area. The resulting abundance and diversity of marine animals (especially sea turtles) led to increase in tourism, and prompted the Philippine government to create hundreds more sanctuaries.

Dynamite fishing, littering and other environmentally destructive practices are still prevalent in the Philippines today. However, this tiny island is a good example of a successful reversal of that unfortunate trend.


Life on a tiny island without electricity (only 4hrs per day) and motorized vehicles has a very different soundtrack to it. When you walk, you don’t hear TVs, there is no artificial recorded music from radios, no loud church speakers, no honking of horns, no motors, no Internet to entertain you and no computers to do your thinking for you. Instead of all that, the day’s soundtrack is just whatever children are singing, people talking, waves, monkeys, wind in the palm trees, falling coconuts and fighting cats. The real music.