2012/05/29

Tubbataha

Tubbataha Reef - an atoll coral reef located in Sulu Sea of the Philippines. It is a marine sanctuary protected as Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. It is nominated at the New 7 Wonders of Nature. 98 nautical miles (181 km) southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Tubba and taha, which together means "a long reef exposed at low tide". The reef is made up of two coral atolls divided by an eight-kilometer (5 miles) wide channel. The South Atoll, the smaller of the two is five kilometers in length and three kilometers in width; while the North Atoll, the larger of the two is 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) long and five kilometers (3 miles) wide. Each reef has a single small islet that protrudes from the water. The atolls are separated by a deep channel 8 km (5.0 mi) wide.




There are no permanent inhabitants of the islets or reefs. Fishermen visit the area seasonally, establishing shelters on the islets. The park is visited by tourists, particularly divers. Trips to Tubbattaha from mid-March to mid-June are all vessel-based; the park is about twelve hours by boat from Puerto Princesa City. Tubbataha is considered as the best dive site in the Philippines and the diving dedicated ships that operate during the "Tubbataha Season" are usually booked years in advance especially during the Asian holidays of Easter and "Golden Week".

Tubbataha has become a popular site for seasoned sports divers because of its coral "walls" where the shallow coral reef abruptly ends giving way to great depths. These "walls" are not only wonderful diving spots but they are also wonderful habitats for many colonies of fish. Over 1000 species inhabit in the reef; many are already considered as endangered. Animal species found include sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, lion fish, barracudas, Moorish idols, clown fish, dolphins, whales etc. Aside from being a marine sanctuary, Tubbataha is also renowned for being a bird sanctuary. A lighthouse islet, at the southern tip of the South Atoll, supports a large number of seabirds which nest there. Around the Tubbataha, there are tens of thousands of masked red-foot boobies, terns, and frigate birds resting during their annual migrations. This is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. One of the most beautiful reef around the world.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Amazon of the Underwater World.

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