I wrote this post to spread this awareness to everyone that our place of pride, Palawan, may be in danger.
Last December 30, 2010, an Indonesian Barge towing 8,000 tons of coal became stranded here in the Philippines. To date, people are doing their efforts to repair the barge and time is of the essence because the continuous battery of rocks and currents are damaging the hull which may spill the unburnt coal. Unburnt coal present in marine environments will cause major damage to our beautiful seas.
Palawan is one of our most beautiful beaches in the country.Â It is also a great diving spot for locals and tourists. It will be sad if our seas will be filled with oil.Â Our seas also host thousands of unique marine life and you can just imagine what will happen if this disaster happens.
I am not entirely sure how we can help as they didnâ€™t inform me how, but I know that spreading awareness is the first step to help prevent damage to our Palawan Seas.Â If you have any suggestions, comment below.Â I sure will update you guys for any developments regarding this.
More information about the Save Palawan Seas Foundation below.
*click on the photos to enlarge
SPSF, LGUâ€™s, the PCGA and PCG join forces to aid stranded Indonesian vessel
The Save Palawan Seas Foundation (SPSF) in cooperation with local government units, private citizens of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Philippine Coast Guard have been attempting to aid stranded Indonesian barge Ivan Batam since it first entered a Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Taytay, Palawan last Tuesday, December 30, 2010.
Agus Priyanto, captain of the vessel towing over 8,000 metric tons of coal reported that they ran out of fuel en route to Batangas and had entered the waters of the marine sanctuary to seek shelter from rough waters. Fearing the adverse effects of prolonged exposure of coal on marine life, the foundation sold diesel to the vessel. Ivan Batam left the sanctuary and docked in a nearby island instead to await the arrival of more fuel from Manila.
On January 2, 2011, the barge was spotted temporarily grounded near the Southwest of Maytigued Island due to choppy waters. After being lent more fuel, they left the site the following day.
Members of LGUâ€™s of Taytay Palawan, PCGA , PCG and SPSF spotted the tugboat anchored in a nearby island, apparently having left the barge and coal near Binatican Island, also a part of the marine sanctuary.
Unburnt coal, when present in marine environments in sufficient quantities, can cause abrasion, smothering, alteration of sediment texture and stability, reduced availability of light, and clogging of respiratory and feeding organs of marine life (Ahrens and Morrisey, 2005)
Members of LGUâ€™s of Taytay Palawan, PCGA , PCG and SPSF continue to monitor the situation closely because they are concerned by the potential environmental calamity should the barge be damaged and its cargo spilled onto the surrounding coral beds.
To date, a salvage team has gone to the site of the grounded barge to assess the situation. It appears that there has been some damage to the barge that would require minor repairs before it could be towed. Time is of the essence as it is feared that further delay would cause greater damage to the bargeâ€™s hull as the vessel is continuously battered by both current and rocks, which would cause the coal spill, endangering surrounding marine life.
Save Palawan Seas Foundation is a non-profit organization that works alongside LGU’s and the Philippine Coast Guard to vigilantly monitor the environmental situation in the province.