Dr. Abe­samis

Scuba Diver Australasia - - Feature: Creating A Marine Protected Area -

and his team spent a year and a half col­lect­ing over 2,000 DNA sam­ples of ju­ve­nile vagabond but­ter­fly­fish and 1,500 adults in the

Apo Is­land area, try­ing to match po­ten­tial par­ents and ju­ve­niles, un­der the as­sump­tion that when match­ing a par­ent and a baby, one can see how far the ju­ve­niles travel. His study, pub­lished in 2017, showed that lar­vae dis­per­sion is vast – span­ning from 85 kilo­me­tres to 120 kilo­me­tres.

It was found that ju­ve­niles from Apo Is­land spawned at coastal Ne­gros, de­ter­min­ing that a ma­rine pro­tected area can help re­cover fish pop­u­la­tions in neigh­bour­ing towns, and even neigh­bour­ing is­lands. If a fish larva set­tles on the reef in an­other pro­tected area, it has a bet­ter chance of de­vel­op­ing into a spawn­ing adult. The syn­ergy be­tween ma­rine pro­tected ar­eas is cru­cial to the re­cov­ery of the fish pop­u­la­tion, so let’s save the ocean, one ma­rine pro­tected area at a time.

Roni Ben-Aharon is the reser­va­tions man­ager at At­lantis; a global no­mad, div­ing pro­fes­sional, who has been work­ing in mar­ket­ing and man­age­ment in the tourism in­dus­try for over a decade. She can be reached at

reser­va­tions.mgr@at­lantishotel.com

TOP LEFT The chil­dren of Apo Is­land

ABOVE LEFT Lo­cal vil­lagers of Apo Is­land

ABOVE

Thanks to Dr. Al­cala’s for­ward think­ing, Apo Is­land’s reefs have largely re­cov­ered af­ter the ces­sa­tion of un­sus­tain­able fish­ing prac­tices

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