Malampaya Foundation Inc.’s (MFIs) partner conservation site Ranzo Fish Sanctuary located in barangay Ranzo, Pinamalayan in the province of Oriental Mindoro landed 2nd BEST-MANAGED MARINE PROTECTED AREA (MPA) at the 2023 country-wide Para El Mar awards, awarded yesterday in Cebu City. On the other hand, MFI’s other conservation site Maasin Fish Sanctuary in barangay Maasin, Bulalacao in the same province finished 6th place.
From 2014 to 2022, the 24-hectare Ranzo sanctuary exhibited 173% increase in hard coral cover and very high fish biomass from ~40MT/km2 in 2018 to 84MT/km2 in 2022. Maasin, a 40-hectare sanctuary, showed 48% increase in hard coral cover from 2013 to 2023 and assessed to have very high fish biomass at 67MT/km2. Both sites have likewise been observed with significant increase in abundance of indicator reef fish species. Spillover effects from both sanctuaries are constantly observed by local fishers in the area.
The biological improvements are attributed to major improvements in the management and enforcement of the MPAs over the past decade, in conjunction with the annual seasonal closure of the province’s municipal waters. Both Ranzo and Maasin have been partners of MFI since 2013.