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Mapping of coral reefs proposed

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) needs to undertake a complete mapping of the country’s coral reefs since they host firstclass fish species and other marine resources that the country needs to conserve.

This suggestion was aired by key researchers of the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) who claimed that a suggestion to undertake this study was broached as early as 2002.

Once implemented, research vessels of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) can work in tandem with the oceanographic ship owned by the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (Namria) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Namria chief Dr. Peter Tiangco is an expert in remote sensing and the inventory of both land and marine resources and his agency also has the equipment necessary to determine whether or not marine areas also have petroleum and natural gas.

The NFRDI researchers stressed that such mapping may also lead to the discovery of new species in the coral reefs, noting that expeditions conducted by foreign explorers yielded a treasure trove of marine species in Bohol and other areas. (Marvyn N. Benaning)