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Posted: May 27, 2015
Volunteer divers from Batangas and Oriental Mindoro together with Malampaya Foundation (MFI), Verde Island Bantay Dagat groups, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Batangas OCVAS and Oriental Mindoro Provincial Agriculture Office conducted collection of crown of thorns (COTs) in various areas in the Verde Island Passage area.
In Batangas, over 1,000 COTs were collected at Nalayag point fishery refuge and sanctuary, San Agustin Kanluran and Verde Island.
In Oriental Mindoro, more than 500 COTs were counted from Harka Piloto fish sanctuary spanning 26 hectares at Lazareto, Calapan City.
The COTs were spotted during the regular reef monitoring activities of MFI, its partner LGUs and community divers over the summer months, prompting the parties to return and conduct the collection to prevent further reef damage.