One of the municipalities with the longest shorelines in Southeast Cebu is the municipality of Argao. Composed of 10 coastal barangays, Argao has issued an ordinance mandating all barangays to have a marine sanctuary that is at least 12 hectares in size.
One of it’s most unique Marine Sanctuaries is the Casay Marine Sanctuary. Casay Marine Sanctuary is Argao’s largest shoal and boasts of a unique coral wall formation. Unfortunately, because of the many threats that the Argao MPAs face which include overfishing, siltation and the lack of enforcement have led its MPAs to be mostly ruined and almost devoid of any fish and corals. In CCEF’s last MPA MEAT assessment, all Argao MPAs are currently at MPA level 1 and needs several interventions and MPA planning to improve conservation and enforcement efforts.
Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, in collaboration government agencies of Argao, Cebu and academe, supports coastal resource management and MPA initiatives in the Philippines. One of the objectives of the Project is to increase the capacity of LGUs, MPA management bodies, people’s organizations to increase management effectiveness.
One of the popular ways of preserving/protecting these marine habitats and regulating exploitation within these critical habitats is the establishment of Marine Protected Area (MPA) or Fish sanctuaries. This mechanism has been tested through times that if enforced and implemented, objectives of its establishment will probably be met.
The Management Plan is a document which sets out the management approach and goals, together with a framework for decision making, to apply in a specific protected area over a given period. Critical to the plan is the widest possible consultation with stakeholders and the development of objectives that can be agreed and adhered to by all who have an interest in the use and ongoing survival of the area concerned. These Guidelines, based on best practice drawn from many areas to represent a working framework for protected area planners to consider and adapt to their needs and circumstances. The marine protected areas (MPAs) provide information for the management bodies to address certain threats based on their management plan. The MPA management bodies of Argao, Cebu have undergone several capacity building and assessments to further improve their capacities. CCEF organization, task to conduct and formulate the Marine Protected Area and Management Plan.