MARINE SANCTUARY. Inside the marine park in Pilar are coral reefs, seagrass, and mangroves that serve as vital habitats for marine life. All photos by Yasmin Arquiza
MANILA, Philippines – When super typhoon Yolanda lashed the Visayas in 2012, it took 5 days before relief goods reached the town of Pilar, in the Camotes group of islands in Cebu. Yet, no one went hungry among its 11,000 residents, according to Susan Cataylo, who heads the disaster risk reduction office in the municipal government.
“Our marine sanctuary gave us the food we needed,” Cataylo said.
The tide was low during the storm and its aftermath, and the coastal dwellers harvested a bonanza of shells, fish, and other seafood swept to the shallows from the Pilar Municipal Marine Park. The 179-hectare protected area includes a 20-hectare no-take core zone, which means fishing is banned inside the waters marked by white buoys.
The spillover of …