Hundred Islands, Macclesfield, and Palawan

Giant clams and an underground river

I. Map boundaries: 10 to 20 degrees North; 112 to 120 degrees East

II. Countries: Paracel Islands and Macclesfield Bank (occupied by China), Philippines (Palawan, Pangasinan, and Zambales), and Spratley Islands (China, Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam occupy islands in this map area).

III. Overview

In the Lingayan Gulf off of the Philippine province of Pangasinan, fish and shrimp pens fill shallow tidal areas that once housed mangroves. Because mangroves can process fertilizers and nutrients, an integrated aquaculture could be developed that allows both mangroves and shrimp pens to coexist. Mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs bordering the 7150 Philippine islands contribute to the livelihood and well-being of coastal communities by supporting fish, shellfish, shrimp while providing coastal protecting, erosion control, and nutrient recycling. The Philippines has ‘greenbelt’ laws that require a mangrove strip of 50 to 100 m facing the open sea (Primavera 2005). On the west side of the same gulf is the Hundred Islands National Park, a scenic area with hundreds of small islands shaped like mushrooms. The area is noted for its giant clams, which are the subject of research at Bolinao Marine Laboratory. The gulf was the site of World War II battles. Continue reading