22 October 2016

Learning all about Invasive Species 

This week Science Officer, Marisa Sorrell, talked about some of the invasive animal species that can be found on the island, such as cane toads, lionfish, green iguanas and rats. Invasive species are plants and animals that were not originally native to an area, due to this they do not always fit into the ecosystem in question and can cause harm. Some invasive species arrive in an area involuntarily (rats on board ships) others are purposefully introduced by man, for instance for food, or in a misguided attempt to combat a pest problem.  The children took the opportunity to ask about the species being discussed with questions such as ‘do iguanas feel spiky?’ and ‘are lionfish venomous?’. For the craft session, the children made lionfish using toilet rolls and colourful paper, we were all very impressed with their efforts!

21 October 2016

Bongawisan Elementary School Seastars Lesson 

CCC Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, recently gave the children of Bongawisan Elementary School their first taste of CCC’s Seastars programme.


During this afternoon session the children were taught the basics in Fish and Coral biology, as well as some of the ideas behind coral reef conservation.  The enthusiasm of 25 students in class grew as the lesson progressed, with them contributing answers whenever they had the chance.


Jesse will be revisiting the children of Bongawisan for the next series of Seastars lectures in the next couple of weeks, which will expand their knowledge further on marine conservation and coral physiology. This first session is known as the bronze level and in time the students will progress all the way to gold!

20 October 2016

San Francisco High School Beach Clean

On October 20th Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, Project Scientist, Jamie Parker, and Compressor Operator Jose Ydel, visited San Francisco High School to help with the annual San Francisco beach clean.


The event started at 3pm with over a hundred students making their way to the beach, each with a broom in hand, each made by CCC’s Jesse and Jose.  By the end of the day bags were filled to the brim with all manners of plastic, glass, pots and buckets; leaving the black sand of San Francisco litter free. A job very well done!

20 October 2016

CCC Philippines Presents the Estela MPA Report 

Last week Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, and Project Scientist, Jamie Parker, travelled to Estela to present the results of the survey findings collected by CCC associates during 2016, in support of a newly proposed MPA off Estela’s coast.


While the majority of the Estela community were unable to attend for the days’ activities, all the Estela Barangay representatives were present and eager to find out what CCC had been up to.  Project Scientist, Jamie Parker, took the attendees through results, explaining the reef structure, fish and coral diversity, and the anthropogenic impacts associated with Estela’s proposed MPA.  Following this, the benefits for establishing the proposed MPA were set down, which encouraged questions and positive discussions on the subject.


The Barangay Captain Nelia was quick to enquire about the MPAs legislative logistics, but seemed enthused with potential plans set ahead.  We hope that the work conducted by CCC will be the push needed to help establish a new protected area on Estela’s healthy reef.

15 October 2016

Open Day at the Taj!

At least once a year the team on Montserrat hold an open day at the Taj, in the hopes of tempting some of our local Montserratians to join as scholars. After advertising on the radio all week and posters both at Moose’s bar and the Library in Brades we set up down at Moose’s just before 10.


We had a mock marine survey at Moose’s and new Science Officer, Marisa Sorrell, set up a mixed survey around the marine village. This was a great idea and allowed the kids to get a ‘science eye’ as some of the frogs and snakes were hidden really well in the bushes and on the walls. Project Scientist, Rory Graham, gave presentations to prospective scholars and set up a marine transect with pictures of marine life around it to allow kids to attempt a CCC fish survey. Last, but certainly not least our Scuba Instructor, Harry Campbell, was in the pool running Discover Scuba Dive courses with anyone brave enough to try.


There was a lot of interest and we are looking forward to seeing the results with scholar applications over the coming months.

11 October 2016

Napantao Elementary School Seastars lesson 2 and 3

On October 11th Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, gave the Seastars silver and gold reef conservation lessons at Napantao Elementary to children in grades 4, 5 and 6. 


These final two lessons explore in more depth, the way that coral reefs function, the threats that we as humans/the environment pose to coastal environments.   Furthermore, the students were taught about the way people within the Filipino community can help restore reef health and fish stocks by establishing MPA’s and abiding by regulated fishing methods.


These lessons aimed to build on the students’ previous knowledge gained in the Seastars first lesson and we hope to host some of the students in the future for one of our CCC Reef Rangers days.

11 October 2016

CCC Philippines Attend PAME Meeting

Recently CCC Project Scientist, Jamie Parker, and Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, were invited to an informative get together run by PAME members in San Francisco’s Municipality Gym. PAME stands for ‘Protected Area Management Enhancement’ and they are responsible for ensuring that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have the management and technical expertise needed to carry out their roles effectively. This day-long event would bring together many of the Barangay captains and environmental representatives from across Southern Leyte.


The vitally important work that PAME carry out throughout Sogod and Southern Leyte region, was highlighted during a series of talks from PAME’s own, Armando Gaviola.  While other speakers provided information on the basic concepts of marine and coastal management.  Particular focus was held on the key roles of seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangrove forests, and the links between them.


Bringing together representatives from across Southern Leyte to discuss conservation management plans, legislation and coastal security, helps sustain the transparency that is strived for when trying to establish successful MPAs. This meeting was a great example of that.

9 October 2016

Philippines Team Gorge Excursion

A couple of weeks ago five members of the Philippines staff team grabbed the opportunity to explore the Uwan Uwanan Gorge in Southern Leyte, accompanied by a couple of Filipino tour guides, Glen and Gage.  

Setting off at about 10.30 the group scaled rainfalls, climbed through crevices and waded through rivers, while surrounded by some of the best rainforests Southern Leyte has to offer.  Although every member spent almost the whole day completely drenched, the spirit amongst the group was high throughout, with many surprising themselves with their waterfall climbing abilities.

© Claire Ogg

The day drew to a close at around 4pm with everyone feeling exhausted.  There is no doubt that this day will live long in the memory for all those who were lucky enough to be involved, and reminded us of Southern Leyte’s diverse and exciting landscapes.  

© Claire Ogg

6 October 2016

Napantao Elementary School's Bronze Seastar Lesson!

On October 6th Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, and Project Scientist, Jamie Parker, visited the Napantao Elementary School.  Approximately 15 3rd and 4th year students were there to experience their first taste of CCC’s Seastars programme.


Jesse Tinapay touched on the basic fundamentals of marine conservation, coral biology and the importance of the world’s coral reefs.  Following this hour long talk the children were asked questions regarding some of the facts they had learned, and answered in a competitive but friendly manner.


The Napantao children whilst only young, showed a genuine interest in the topics being taught and were excited about the prospect of their next lecture in the week to come.

3 October 2016

Maasin CCC Memorandum of Agreement Meeting

On the 3rd of October both Project Scientists, Jamie Parker and Darienne Lancaster, as well as Field Base Manager, Claire Ogg, were invited to a council meeting encompassing the yearly progress of CCC and the current Memorandum of Agreement.  Those who attended included Hon. Jessica Escano, Sir Armando Gaviola of PENRMO, Southern Leyte tourism representative Sir Nedgar and Vice Governor Coco.


The meeting began with a short presentation by Project Scientist Jamie Parker; giving an overview of CCC’s conservation exploits, detailing work done to establish MPAs and updates on the Seastars and Filipino scholarship programmes. 


The progress report was met with approval and all those in attendance agreed that CCC’s ongoing contributions to Southern Leyte’s environmental and tourism sectors, were invaluable for the municipality’s development.

27 September 2016

Anislagon Community Day

On September 27th eight CCC associates including five staff members travelled to Anislagon to run a community day.  The day aimed to highlight the importance of marine conservation in relation to their community, whilst also taking them through the CCC findings relating to a new proposed MPA site on the Anislagon coast.


To begin the day, around 30 members of the Anislagon community warmed up by playing a few rounds of charades and a site scavenger hunt. CCC’s Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay then began scientific proceedings with an introductory coral reef lecture, which was followed by two further talks by Darienne Lancaster and Jamie Parker, which described threats to coral reefs, ecosystem food chains, coral lifeforms and MPAs.  Other games including the newly created ‘blindfold’ food-chain game which was also met with approval, before a beach and site clean leading up to lunch.  


Following the lunch break Darienne presented the recent CCC survey results and explained why Anislagon’s proposed site would make an ideal area for an MPA.  Members of the community were interested in the findings and encouraged by the future possibilities.

24 September 2016

Learning all about Shark Finning

In this weeks’ library session, the theme was shark finning. The children always love learning about sharks so the CCC team thought learning about the threats sharks face was important. We covered what shark finning is, why it happens and whereabouts in the world it occurs. We also spoke about what sharks are most affected, the negative impacts it has on the oceans and how we can try and stop it.


The craft session involved making shark masks from paper plates. The children cut out shark mouths with lots of teeth and then painted them differently depending on the species and colour of shark they wanted to make. There was a very pretty tiger shark mask, which was painted orange and black like a jungle tiger. We also had a shark which was the ‘guardian of all sharks’, it was apparently his job to save all other sharks from being shark finned. The children said they were excited to wear their masks and tell people about shark finning and why it should be stopped. Altogether, a very successful library session.

17 September 2016

Napantao Teachers Community Day

On September 17th the Napantao elementary school teachers were invited to the CCC site for a community day, with the aim to help promote the importance of coral reef conservation, as well as useful information regarding coral and fish lifeforms.


After a brief introduction to the CCC site, the guests were shown a series of short lectures, presented by Project Scientists Darienne and Jamie, as well as Field Base Management Intern Gareth, detailing the conservation role CCC plays in the area, information on coral growth forms, fish identification and dangerous marine flora and fauna.


Proceeding this, three of the guests were eager to get in the water, so were accompanied by the Project Scientists for a snorkel on the Napantao house reef.  Whilst Gareth and Jesse joined the rest of the teachers for a beach clean.


Overall, the guests were enthusiastic and engaging throughout. We hope this experience may help encourage their pupils to attend on a later date.

13 September 2016

  CCC carry out a lobster marine reserve assessment in Catig

Science Officer, Maryann Watson with Volunteer, Rachel Pedersen. © Rachel Pedersen

On September 13th the Coral Cay survey team headed out to Barangay Catig in the municipality of Liloan to do a visual assessment for a proposed marine reserve for lobster in the area.


Coral Cay Conservation completed a proposed MPA survey in Catig in August 2015 and the ordinance for that MPA is currently being developed.  This additional visual assessment was requested by the Local Government Unit (LGU) in Liloan which is interested in creating a marine reserve (MR) around the proposed MPA to protect lobsters which are often found in the Catig area.


The Coral Cay survey team did a full 100m transect survey in the proposed MR area to check for coral, fish, and invertebrate abundance.  Additionally, the surveyors snorkelled the entire shoreline in the proposed area checking for lobster and lobster habitat. 


During the survey many small lobster were seen in holes in shallow sandy substrates between rocks.  Overall the area appears to have very good habitat for lobsters and would likely make an excellent lobster marine reserve. 

10 September 2016

Learning all about Spiders!

In this weeks’ library session the theme was spiders due to the number of requests we had to learn about tarantulas. The session started with a brief outline about spiders, including where they are found in the world and also general characteristics of spiders.  A variety of spiders were talked about in the presentation, including jumping spiders, the diving bell spider, the Goliath Birdeater and the Peacock spider. The children especially liked the video of the Peacock spiders dancing in their courtship ritual and also enjoyed learning about the large Goliath Birdeaters’ diets. 


The craft session involved making spider webs out of paper plates for the frame and string for the actual web. The children then made their own spiders to go on the webs out of paper, pom-poms and wooden lolly sticks. The glitter clue was extremely popular at this craft session to decorate the spiders and the webs and some children made their spiders into hats!


09 September 2016

Marayag Sea Star Presentation

Community Liaison Officer Jesse Tinapay continued his rounds of ocean education in Marayag, San Francisco on September 9th.  Jesse gave the first of three Sea Stars lessons on coral reef biology to grade seven students at Marayag elementary school.  The students watched parts of the documentary Blue Planet, learned that corals are animals, not plants, and many more fishy facts!


Jesse will be heading back to Marayag for lesson two on September 17th for more lectures on our oceans.  Once the students complete all three lessons and complete a marine conservation activity they will be certified as gold level Sea Stars and be invited to a Reef Rangers event on our Napantao base.  Great job Marayag!

29 August 2016

Sudmon Elementary School Gold Sea Stars Community Clean up!

On August 29th Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay and Expedition Management Intern, Gareth Turner, went back to Sudmon in San Francisco to bring the blossoming Sea Star students up to level three Gold Sea Stars. 


The event was a hit with a scavenger hunt run by Gareth Turner, a showing of the BBC documentary Blue Planet, and a community rubbish clean up.


All the students participated and managed to collect almost 20 rice sacks full of rubbish!


All of these fantastic Sea Stars are now Gold level conservationists and the entire class was presented with a framed certificate proving their Gold Sea Stars status!  Great work!

27 August 2016

Learning all about Hummingbirds!

© Rory Graham

Last week’s famous CCC library session focused on ‘Hummingbirds & other flying things’ at the library in Brades. The Hummingbirds discussed were the 3 that are found on island: The Green Throated Carib, the Purple Throated Carib and the Antillean Crested Hummingbird. They are 'New world birds' meaning they are only found on this side of the Atlantic and fly at speeds up to 34 mph, which is faster than the speed limit on Montserrat!


This session was also a great opportunity to talk about the flying mammals that can be found on Montserrat, namely, bats. Science Officer, Emily, is passionate about bats and spoke about the fact that bats are the only native mammals on the island, and named the ten species found on island, including the endemic subspecies of the yellow shouldered bat Sturnira thomasi vulcanenis


Attendance was very high despite it still being the school holidays, with approximately 12 very enthusiastic children. For the craft session the group all made hummingbird feeders from old spice jars and ginger beer bottles with a tiny straw to allow sugar water to come out. It is hoped that these will attract hummingbirds during the day and bats at night to the children’s gardens.

25 August 2016

A Presentation of the Catig MPA results to the Liloan LGU

Project Scientist, Darienne Lancaster, recently gave a presentation of Catig's Proposed MPA results for the Liloan Local Government Unit (LGU).  This presentation was requested by Ma’am Benie Dipay of the MAO in Liloan on behalf of the Chairman for the LGU, who runs a special committee on agriculture and fisheries. 


This presentation was previously created and delivered by past Project Scientist Shannon Cameron in the Catig Barangay where the MPA has been proposed, but the officials wanted a refresher. 


Currently, the LGU and Municipal government are working to create the ordinance to make the proposed MPA official.  The LGU is proposing that the MPA is managed by the community members rather than Barangay Officials, this is to ensure better continuity due to the fact that the three yearly elections create quite a high turnover in staff, which thereby also changes the barangays priorities.


The chairman of the LGU committee is also proposing the creation of a large Marine Reserve allowing only hook and line fishing around the MPA. This committee is particularly interested in protecting lobster which they believe would be a valuable commodity to protect and an interesting tourist draw for the Barangay.


The committee requested a visual assessment by CCC of an area just above the Catig proposed MPA to assess the area for lobster abundance and appropriate habitat.

19 August 2016

Sudmon Elementary School Get Their First Sea Stars lesson!

On 19th August the Philippines Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, visited Sudmon Elementary School to deliver the first of three Sea Stars lectures. Sea Stars is an educational program designed to teach our younger locals about the reefs and what they can do to protect them. The students learned about coral reef biology, the fact that corals are animals, not plants or rocks, and why coral reefs are important for the environment and humans.  Jesse will be heading back to Sudmon two more times to bring these Sea Stars up to gold status and invite them to a Reef Rangers workshop at our Napantao field base.

13 August 2016

Learning all about Octopus!

This week’s library session theme was Octopus. The presentation covered the key facts about octopus, the children actually already knew that they have bird-like beaks and that they use ink as a defence mechanism. The children were amazed by octopus anatomy, particularly when told about them having three brains and 9 hearts! The world’s largest octopus and the world’s smallest octopus was covered, as was the Dumbo Octopus, which Emily subsequently re-created out of playdough in the art and crafts session following. The children seemed shocked by how small and big octopus could be; some children started drawing angler fish and octopus during the presentation and asking which would win in a fight. It was nice to see them engaging in the topic.

© Rory Graham.

The craft session involved making octopus out of playdough, in any shape, colour and size that the children decided on. We had octopus with hats, cooking pans and cannons on top of their heads and we also had an octopus that lived in space, with a mobile phone to keep in contact with the rest of the universe, and 16 legs. This octopus was called the Krakken and managed to steal a lot of the other octopus’s legs from around the table. The children then took their creations home to bake in the oven so that they could then keep them forever and always be reminded of their exciting octopus-themed library session.

12 August 2016

CCC presents its findings at Barangay Punta

Last week Project Scientist, Darienne Lancaster, and Expedition Management Intern, Gareth Turner, headed to Barangay Punta to deliver a presentation of survey results.  The presentation was well attended by the Barangay Captain Benny, several Barangay officials and many locals and their children.  CCC recommended the current MPA be expanded to include the surveyed area outside of the MPA.  At present there is no significant trend towards greater abundance of fish or hard coral inside the MPA.  This may suggest that the MPA is too young to see the impacts of protection, too small to effectively protect species, or experiencing too much illegal fishing within the MPA boundaries.  Barangay Captain Benny was interested in keeping the same size of MPA but perhaps moving the boundaries to protect a healthier area of reef.  Based on this request, the CCC science team is currently working on recommendations to facilitate boundary adjustments that will accommodate the ecological and social needs of the area.  Darienne will head back to Punta in a few weeks’ time to offer suggestions on how to amend the current MPA.

CAASAFI High School Achieve Silver Sea Stars Status

12 August 2016

On August 12th Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay and volunteer, Rachel Pederson went to CAASAFI San Francisco High School to deliver the second Sea Stars lecture.  This lesson brings the high school up to level two (silver status) Sea Stars.  The students learned about climate change and threats to reefs and how to protect them.  Only one more lecture and the students will be eligible for gold Sea Star status which involves a trip to our Napantao field base to become Reef Rangers and the development of an environmental stewardship committee.  Great work CAASAFI!

12 August 2016

CCC help out with a Project Aware Cleaning Campaign at Carr's Bay

© Rory Graham. The dive team strike a pose at the end of the clean up!

Charley (from the Montserrat based dive company Island Divers) has officially adopted Carr’s Bay through the project aware scheme so is aiming to do a monthly clean there. Coral Cay were invited and it was the best clean up event so far. Three divers helped with the event. The dive team brought up 38kg of rubbish, including an old anchor! The land based team collected 8kg. Just from looking at the beach it's clear that we are making a difference doing these beach cleans, there is less rubbish on the beach in general and while we picked up a lot of rubbish this time there is less on the reef in general. Unfortunately people still seem to just throw rubbish on the beach, but hopefully just by seeing us there tackling the problem this attitude will change and Carr’s Bay will be one of the highlights of Montserrat again.

06 August 2016

Maasin Football Match – Round 2

Word of the indomitable Coral Cay Conservation Football Club spread far and wide after our first match in Maasin at the end of June, and as a result, the Coral Cay FC was invited back to Maasin for another round on August 6th.  The Coral Cay team had picked up a few new recruits since their first match and arrived on the field with an impressive twelve-person team.   The games were rapid fire: six on six for twenty-minute games.  Coral Cay came out strong at the start of the first match, pushing back hard against the competitive Maasin team.  Keeper/Scuba Instructor, Dom Revell, parried shot after shot with ninja like confidence.  Our twelve-person team allowed for frequent substitutions, which kept our team fresh and on the attack.  However, a single goal from the Maasin team snuck between the crossbars late in the second half leaving the final score 1-0 for Maasin.

Coral Cay FC post match photo, what a handsome bunch! © G. Turner

However, Coral Cay FC was just warming up.  After a fantastic Filipino lunch of fish, chicken, pork, and rice, provided by the welcoming Maasin organizers, both teams geared up for round two.


The second match was even more heated than the last, with Maasin and Coral Cay going head to head, vying for the championship.  A sneaky goal from the Maasin team crept in halfway through the game.  However, Coral Cay hit back hard with a killer goal by Gareth “Predator” Turner, assisted by Dani “The Wall” Contrada.  Tied 1-1 the clock ticked down with Mena Kaharuddin and Ion Bacabac trading back and forth the same pair of shoes to kick the Maasin team to the curb.  Dani “The Wall” took some hard hits to keep back the Maasin offence but Coral Cay couldn’t hold back a final goal from Maasin late in the game.  Final score was a tight 2-1 for Maasin.


Although Coral Cay FC didn’t win against Maasin this time, they did take away a great sense of accomplishment in their incredible improvement and the great fun of sharing a match with such a talented and friendly Maasin team.  Until next time Maasin!


Author: Project Scientist Darienne Lancaster

05 August 2016

The Philippines Site Comes Under Siege from Scouts!

On August 5th approximately 185 scouts from San Francisco and surrounding barangays arrived at the Coral Cay base for a morning full of marine conservation lectures, an introduction to SCUBA diving, and a chance to breathe under water for the first time!


The scouts arrived at 8am and received a brief introduction to Coral Cay Conservation and the Napantao MPA.  After the scouts settled in, Field Base Manage, Claire Ogg challenged the scouts to do 5 push-ups for the 22/22 challenge, an event designed to bring awareness to the fact that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.  The kids eagerly leapt to the task, and afterwards, Claire introduced the kids to SCUBA equipment, explaining the various parts of the kit, as well as explaining how it lets you breath underwater.  

© Rachel Pedersen

Community Liaison Officer, Jesse Tinapay, then took over and gave the group a lecture on coral biology and lifeforms, the local fish, and why Marine Protected Areas are important.  The kids enthusiastically pointed out the fish they recognized on the educational presentation banners and proudly proclaimed their knowledge that coral was an animal when asked by Jesse. 


The morning’s final event was the opportunity to use a regulator and breathe underwater in the “bubble tanks”.  Jesse filled buckets full of water, sand, coral skeletons, and shells, and all of the kids had the opportunity to don a mask and make bubbles as they breathed through a regulator. 


The scouts said farewell at about 11am after a fun-filled, educational day.


Author: Volunteer - Rachel Pedersen

04 August 2016

CCC Volunteers Help to Create the First Large-Scale MPA in Cambodia!

Today's main story is dedicated to all of the staff and volunteers who joined Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) on our Cambodia Site on Koh Rong. It has been a long journey (as these things always are) but we are very happy to announce that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) have declared a 405 km2 area within the Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem regions in Cambodia, as the country's first large scale Marine Fisheries Management Area (MFMA)!

CCC were based in the Koh Rong archipelago from 2010 - 2014 at the invitation of the Fisheries Administration (FiA), and worked closely with the FiA, MAFF, MCC, the Song Saa Foundation, and last but by no means least our in country partners Fauna and Flora International. The data collected by CCC volunteers was used to make recommendations as to where best to place the MFMA. The globally recognised Reef Check survey method was used to quantify the abundance, diversity and composition of selected ‑fishes, invertebrates and benthic species, and CCC applied an approach to highlight particular areas of conservation interest. 

The successful creation of the MFMA is testament to the culmination of a consultation process between stakeholders, conservation organisations, government agencies and the local community. This process has taken into consideration the importance of protecting the future of the marine life of the Koh Rong Archipelago, whilst balancing this with the needs of the local communities - people who rely on the ocean for food and economic security. This balance has been achieved through the implementation of an effective but sympathetic 'zonation scheme' which divides the MFMA into areas of different usage - community fishing, recreational, no-take, conservation and multi use, whilst outlawing destructive fishing methods throughout the entire MFMA. 

We can't wait to see the positive impact that the MFMA will have on Cambodia's waters and feel so proud that we were able to assist in this venture. All of CCC's work is compiled into scientific reports so if you are interested in reading more about the research and analysis that went into making our MFMA recommendations check out the Cambodia section on the Reports page.

30 July 2016

Learning all about Snakes!

© Carolyn Bircher

Science Officer, Emily Stebbings, was at the helm for Montserrat’s most recent library education session and picked the sssssseriously cool subject of snakes, those found on both land and sea. It was a quieter session than usual because the school have broken up for summer and lots of the kids are away on holiday, but the few who did attend were very interested and engaged. After the lesson, the students had great fun making a paper snake mobile. Special thanks have to go to our fantastic helpers from the college group that recently joined us from Scotland. 

Napantao Community Day and Presentation of Survey Results

25 July 2016

© Darienne Lancaster

On July 25th Barangay officials and community members from Napantao arrived at the Coral Cay Conservation base for a day of games, marine education, and a presentation of survey results from the 2015 assessment of the Napantao Marine Protected Area.


After a scavenger hunt and marine themed charades the group settled in for lectures on coral biology and lifeforms, native fish species, threats to coral reefs, and ways to protect them.  Coral Cay volunteers and staff took turns lecturing and sharing their love of the oceans with the local visitors.


The MPA egg game was also a big hit. This was designed by (scholar) Dionn Hubag, and involves protecting a raw egg (representing an MPA) with found materials before the opposite team attempts to smash it against the ground. 

© Claire Ogg

Project Scientist, Darienne Lancaster, also gave a presentation of results from the 2015 assessment of the Napantao MPA.  Overall the reef is very healthy but there is no difference in fish abundance inside compared to outside the MPA and there are no big fish in the area.  This suggests the MPA is not as effective as it could be if enforcement was increased and fishing pressure decreased.  Barangay Officials requested maps of the MPA boundaries be posted at the Barangay Office and on the beach so local fishers know where the MPA starts and ends.


The day was topped off by a snorkel adventure along the Napantao house reef.  The snorkelers visited Anemone City to see the clown fish and pointed out all the coral lifeforms they learned about during the morning presentations.  

23 July 2016

Dive Against Debris at Ghost Town

© Rachel Pedersen

Last week volunteers Danielle Contrada and Rachel Pederson headed out to the Ghost Town dive site in Barangay Santa Paz, San Francisco for a Dive Against Debris. Dive Against Debris is an important campaign to prevent rubbish from affecting coral reefs.  Plastics can smother corals and choke animals like turtles that often eat them by accident. The divers managed to collect over 40 pieces of trash in a single dive!  Items collected included pots, a toy truck, a baking tray, plastic bags, and hard plastic debris.  Great work keeping our oceans clean!

22 July 2016

CAASAFI High School Enjoy their First SeaStars Lesson

© Alex Wady

On July 22nd Community Liaison Officer Jesse Tinapay along with his assistant volunteer Alex Wady, headed to CAASAFI High School in San Francisco to give the first of three Sea Stars marine education lectures.  Jesse and Alex taught students in two different classes all about the marine life they can find in the oceans near them, as well as talking about threats to the oceans and tools they can use to protect the marine environment. This first lecture qualified the two groups of students as Bronze Star level Sea Stars. With each consecutive lecture the students will move up a level, eventually being certified as Gold Star Sea Stars, at this point the students will be invited to the CCC base in Napantao to participate in a Reef Rangers day. Jesse, Alex and the students had a great day playing games and learning about the ocean creatures and coral reefs that surround their town.