Video of Diving at Tubbataha
Sulu Sea – Philippines
In the center of the Philippines Zulu Sea lies the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. In 1993 UNESCO declared the site a World Heritage Site. The park is comprised of two atolls, which makes for spectacular wall diving. Lage barrel sponges and sea-fans dominate the walls, with colorful feathery crinoids resting on the fans and rocks. Colorful soft corals are also splendid along the reefs plunging walls and ledges but it is the many schools of fish along the walls, attracting divers from all over the world. Tubbataha is a remote reef off the coast of Puerto Princesa in the Philippines and only accessible during three months of the year.
This video of diving at Tubbataha Reef can only give you a small idea about the glorious beauty of this unique marine park.
Pelagic fish such as dark tuned tuna are regular visitors to the reef. Bumphead parrotfish can be found at the reefs and out in the blue. Barracuda patrol the edges of the reef, White Tip and Grey Reef Sharks can be seen around the ledges. The top of the reef gently slopes to the edge, where it turns into a drop off which goes down to more than 1.000 meter/3.000ft.
There is a spectacular explosion of life and color along the entire reef. The Sulu Sea contains more than 3% of the worlds coral reef. In 2006, the president of the Philippines made an executive order to increase the boundaries of the park by 200% to a total of 380 mil², almost 1.000 km².
A recent survey revealed, that 300 species of corals and 380 species of fish can be found on the Tubbataha Reef. There are many different species of Lion Fish and many interesting creatures as the black spotted pufferfish, and the odd looking yellow boxfish. In she shallows, many spotted sweetlips can be found, on their way to a cleaning station. Where all kind of fish fall in line to get the attention of the small cleaner-fish and shrimps. In the shallows you can spot sharks resting in the sand along spotted eagle rays and Mantas. The Tubbataha reef is a safe haven for the critically endangered hawksbill turtle. They feast on sponges and jellyfish, which both are highly toxic to other animals. Just in the last 3 generations, their population has declined by 80%.
The larges fish of this planet, the whale shark can also be seen around the reef. They, as well as all other animals have found peace at the marine park. Let us hope that future generations can also enjoy this wonders of the sea in real life, and not only watch a video of diving at Tubbataha Reef.