The Oceans are in Trouble : Protecting Benham Rise

The Oceans are in Trouble : Protecting Benham Rise

The oceans are in trouble, as ocean explorer, film maker and conservation advocate Alexandra Cousteau puts it.

A team of marine scientists found a dazzling array of soft and hard corals, fish, algae, and sponges in Benham Bank,during a week-long expedition in May 2016. They observed one hundred percent coral cover in several sites, with an impressive field of plate corals.

We saw terraces of corals, as far as the
eye could see. It’s so exciting to know that
we have such a vast and pristine coral reef
ecosystem within Philippine territory

said Marianne Pan-Saniano, marine scientist at Oceana Philippines.

Benham Bank key to food security.

Oceana senior advisor Alexandra Cousteau urged the government to ensure that the marine resources documented by scientists during the 2016 expedition would be protected from commercial exploitation even before their uses are fully known.

The rich biodiversity in Benham Bank – Benham Rise’s shallowest area – could aid in ensuring the country’s food security, according to a marine scientist.

“What’s amazing about Benham Bank is its coral coverage. The region offers a huge potential for food resources and is different from the typical corals that we see,” said marine scientist Marianne Pan-Saniano of Oceana Philippines.

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