Tubbataha Reef


Location: Sulu Sea Map

Area: 33,200 ha (128 sq mi)

Entrance Fee: $75


Description of Tubbataha Reef

The Tubbataha Reef is a protected area and marine natural park in the Philippines, located in the central part of the Sulu Sea. The marine and bird sanctuary consists of two large atolls (bearing the names North and South) and a smaller reef Jesse Beasley and covers a total area of ​​7030 hectares. It is located 150 km southeast of the city of Puerto Princesa, the administrative center of the province of Palawan. The uninhabited islands and reef are part of the Kagayansilo island municipality, Palawan, located about 130 km northeast of the reef.

In December 1993, UNESCO included the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park on the World Heritage List as a unique example of atolls with a very high density of marine species; North Atoll is a nesting site for many species of birds and sea turtles. The park is an example of a pristine coral reef with a 100-meter perpendicular coral wall, an extensive lagoon and two coral islands. In 1999, the Ramsar Convention included the Tubbatah Reef on the list of wetlands of international importance. In 2008, the reef was proposed to be called one of the seven "new" wonders of the world.

The National Park and the southern part of the Philippine Archipelago are part of the Coral Triangle and are recognized as the center of marine biodiversity; 75% of the described species of coral and 40% of reef fish found in the world live on its territory. Currently, this area is under great threat due to overfishing and environmentally harmful fishing methods. Studies by scientists visiting reefs since 1980 have shown that the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park is home to at least 600 species of fish, 360 species of coral, 11 species of sharks, 13 species of dolphins and whales and 100 species of birds. The reef is also a nesting site for biss and green sea turtles.