3rd District of Palawan Rep. Edward Hagedorn is proposing to designate the Seven Line Reef, a marine territory in Aborlan town with reputedly healthy coral cover, as a “protected seascape.”
Considering that it is “comparable” to Tubbataha Reefs, he stated that the reef’s declaration would conserve and safeguard it from destruction.
“Merong napakagandang lugar sa Aborlan—ito siguro gagawin ko rin lahat ng paraan at i-endorse ko sa tourism—ito napakaganda raw nitong Seven Line Reef na ito. Comparable daw ito sa Tubbataha Reefs, eh, although hindi ko pa ito nakikita, pero yon ang sabi nila,” Hagedorn said.
“Kaya ginawa na namin na protected seascape agad kasi maraming pumapasok na illegal activities,” he said, citing it can be an attraction in Aborlan town for those looking for dive spots nearby.
In 2016, the municipal council of Aborlan declared the Seven Line Reef as a marine protected area (MPA), covering 79,910 hectares under Municipal Ordinance No. 08 with budget allocation.
A study on the status of six MPAs in September 2020 by Western Philippines University based on perception of MPA managers and local communities said Seven Line Reef has initial record on the number of target fish species (229), number of mangroves (23 species) and number of seagrass (8 species) which were taken in 2015. The other MPAs have no record of mangrove or seagrass survey or monitoring.
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Fondation Segré also worked together to include it in a two-country project to rebuild the fish stocks of the Coral Triangle by changing how people think about protected areas, it said in a previous post.