The accidental stranding of a commercial fishing vessel in the protected area of Ursula Island on Friday (August 7) has caused “minimal damage” to the area, according to an assessment conducted by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and other agencies.
Protected Area Superintendent Franklin Aquino told Palawan News following the damage assessment that while they considered the damage as minimal, the fishing vessel owned by Irma Fishing and Trading Corporation will still be assessed for damages.
“Nagsagawa ng mapping ang team at nakitaan ng minimal damages pero may pagbabayaran pa rin talaga sila. Di pa matukoy kung magkano ito,” Aquino said.
He added that the company will also be required to rehabilitate the damaged areas under government supervision.
“Sa nasira naman nila kung mga corals ito sila ay subject to do rehabilitation sa area, aayusin yon kasama ang mga makukuha nilang mga marine or technical experts at habang nirerehab nila ang nasirang area yan naman ay imomonitor ng PCSD, DENR or PAMB,” he said.
Ursula Island is a protected area in Bataraza classified as a Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary.
The fishing vessel MV Chris Paull Bill III ran aground on the island due to a strong weather disturbance on July 31, 2020.