The Report On The Uss Guardian Ran

1698 Words Nov 12th, 2014 7 Pages
Introduction In January 2013, the USS Guardian ran aground on the Tubbataha Reefs in the Palawan province of the Philippines, harming over 2,000 square meters of the protected environment (The Philippine Star 2014). As a result, the US Navy minesweeper had to be disassembled into several pieces in order to safely remove it from the reef without further damaging the corals. It is unclear of how the ship sailed off track and ended up in the shallow waters of the marine sanctuary. After over a year of litigation, in October 2014, the US government agreed to pay 87 million pesos ($1.9 million) to the Philippines as compensation for the extensive damage. Unfortunately, this event is only one of the more recent incidents that severely damaged the coral reefs, home to over 350 species of coral and nearly 500 species of fish (UNESCO c. 2014). Other than ship grounding incidents, the grand biodiversity of the Tubbataha Reefs has been threatened by other factors such as destructive fishing practices and global warming. Because the habitat plays a significant role in sustaining marine life in the Philippines, it is important to fully understand the threats that endanger its diverse organisms.

Ecological Significance
The Tubbataha Reefs are located on the Cagayan Ridge, a series of underwater volcanoes that are now extinct (TRNP c. 2012). It comprises of a north and south atoll, which is a circular reef that is formed when a volcanic island completely subsides underwater after…

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