US Navy fined for Filipino coral reef damage

This video, recorded in the Philippines, is called Tubbataha – A World Heritage Site.

From Wildlife Extra:

US Navy to be fined $1.4m million for damage to UNESCO World Heritage Reef

USS Guardian ran aground on World Heritage Reef

April 2013. Top reef experts from the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO), University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI), National Institute of Physics (NIP), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), De Lasalle University (DLSU-SHIELDS), United States Navy (USN) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), have just finished assessing the damage wrought by the USS Guardian – a US Navy Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship which ran aground on the world-famous Tubbataha Reefs in January 2013.

According to the assessment team, results indicate the damaged area spans 2345.67 square metres – a smaller area than the 4000 square metres originally estimated by an American team.


In the Philippines a fine of roughly $600 per square meter of damaged reef is mandatory. Further park rule violations boosted the final total to slightly less than $1.4 million.

Salvage operation cost $45 million

Tubbataha Reefs Park Superintendent Angelique Songco, “$1.4 million is but a slap on the wrist, as the salvage operation has been estimated to cost close to $45 million. However, we respect the Rule of Law and these are the fines stipulated. The Tubbataha Management Office will not ask for anything more.”

Fantastic marine wealth

A multi-awarded UNESCO World Heritage site, which celebrates its Silver Anniversary in 2013, Tubbataha boasts of unparalleled biodiversity levels. Whereas a typical square kilometre of healthy coral reef annually contains up to 30 metric tons of fish biomass per square kilometre, Tubbataha boasts from 200 to 300 metric tons. Though fishing within the park is not allowed, the larval dispersal effects, fuelled by currents, continually seed the Sulu Sea with fish and invertebrate spawn.

Concludes WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan, “The swift resolution of this matter will allow TMO to build a significant endowment fund to sustain its operations through the years. The basic issue here is not tourism. It is food security. This fresh infusion of funds will allow TMO to concentrate on putting the money to good use – from building a better Ranger Station to upgrading their capacity to manage the country’s most productive coral reef. Let us settle what must be settled, learn what must be learned, and move forward.”

3 thoughts on “US Navy fined for Filipino coral reef damage

  1. Pingback: US Navy admirals in bribery, prostitution scandal | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Endangered wildlife species, Philippines and elsewhere | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Curac̀§ao coral reefs and sponges | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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