The Dakit-Dakit Marine Sanctuary (DDMS) holds the distinction of being the very first on record to be declared under Lapu-Lapu City's Community-Based Marine Sanctuary Stewardship Program (CBMSSP). It and Shangrila Marine Sanctuary set the processes and protocols under which all the coming dozen or so sanctuaries will be established.
CBMSSP could be the first of its kind in the world. I am awaiting for responses from the poster presentation regarding the program at this year's Reef Conservation Convention in London this month. The poster, titled "Engagement of the Private Sector Under a New Legislative Framework for the Protection of the Coral Reefs of Mactan Island, Philippines", is co-authored by Draper, Amores, et al.
The DDMS stewardship group is composed of ScubaStar Dive Services (represented by Mr. Eslao Ompad), ScubaStar Underwater Photo Services (Mr. Dino Ompad), and Amores Charities, Inc (Doc Amores). Eslao and Dino are my long-time dive buddies here in Mactan Island. A few years back, I have both of them interested in underwater photography. After pooling our resources together, we now have the most extensive collection of underwater photographs in and around Mactan.
We found unique properties in the reefs of Dakit-Dakit Island
right off Buyong Beach where ScubaStar Dive Services is located - after a few years of diving around and away from Mactan through many dive safaris! The place is replete with photography subjects through the full range of camera lens angle - macro, close-up, normal-angle and wide-angle. In addition, we have Mactan's first akelp (artificial kelp) "forest"
which promises to be a unique macro photography site.
DDMS will be closed to the public for approximately 6 months, allowing for the habitat to recover from human-activities stress. (For more on the human-activities stress issue, follow the Dakit-Dakit