Shark Fin Bay Palawan

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Written by Pierlo Pablo

February 21, 2020

The Shark Fin Bay in Palawan is located in the north-east of Palawan Island. It is named after the mountains in the shape of shark fins that surround it. This bay has one of the highest density of coral and mangrove within the world’s greatest diversity: the coral triangle. This coral grows naturally, in warm waters, sometimes very shallow, until it also comes out completely from the water at certain low tides. The “El Nino” episodes do not affect this area yet with shallow depths.

What is the Coral Triangle?

The coral triangle is one of the most important reef systems in the world. It covers 132,636 km in six countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
coral triangle

coral triangle

It occupies only 1.5% of the world’s ocean surface, but accounts for 30% of the world’s coral reefs. It has the greatest coral diversity in the world – 76% of the world’s coral species are present. Fifteen are endemic in the region, which means they can’t be found anywhere else. It is also home to the world’s largest variety of coral reef fish. Thirty-seven percent of the world’s coral reef fish species, and 56% of the coral reef fish in the Indo-Pacific region live here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mangrove

Palawan’s Shark Fin Bay is bordered by a lush mangrove. The mangroves that make it up, form masses of thousands of hectares in this region. They are a whole ecosystem, complex, indispensable for underwater life. Indeed, the mangrove is the nursery of marine life. Young sharks, the first links in the chain, develop there. But also other fish and some bird species.

The marine crocodiles criss-cross them for food and rest there, taking advantage of the warm water and sunlight.

The diversity of Shark Fin Bay does not stop there.

The limules, animals present on earth since prehistory, populate the bay. We might be mistaken to think of them as crustaceans, but they belong to the family of spiders. Their blue blood is collected by laboratories to manufacture drugs that treat serious diseases. In Palawan, the limules live in the seabed under the sand. Every year, during the “love” season, from April to July, they reproduce. To reproduce, the male must first find a female and cling to her back.  Then they have to walk back together to a beach. Once the long journey is completed, the couple goes back down to the depths, waiting for the next year to start the cycle again.

Written by Pierlo Pablo

The Shark Fin Bay in Palawan, Philippines is naturally full of abundant diversity. It is populated by endemic, incredible animals. With its intact coral gardens, this bay is a haven of natural peace.

Nature here does things very well by itself.

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