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Monday, June 17, 2024

UP professors seek long-term monitoring of West Philippine Sea resources

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Marine scientists at the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Science (UPD-CS) have recommended the long-term monitoring of resources at the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

The college recently facilitated a public forum where UP professors discussed the geopolitical and ecological situation in the WPS, promoting strategies that scientists and researchers can use to protect and preserve the area’s marine resources. 

UPD-CS Marine Science Institute (MSI) Director Dr. Laura David listed the following threats to the West Philippine Sea: climate change, overfishing, oil spills, land use, plastics, and reclamation of islands.

David said the number of living coral reefs declined as the number of occupations rose. Moreover, the Philippines is the country that experiences the highest impact as the number of fish families found in the WPS decline from 34 to 22 in just 20 years.

“We need to increase our research efforts, and we need to involve a lot of other disciplines. We need to talk to the fishers, and we need more policymakers, so that we can make better-informed policies for the West Philippine Sea,” David said.

Dr. Fernando Siringan, MSI professor and National Academy of Science and Technology academician, likewise encouraged long-term monitoring activities involving marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the WPS region.

He explained that conducting such studies can help in designing a marine protected area in the West Philippine Sea.

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