Friday, October 14, 2005

Panglao 2005 expedition

Panglao 2005 expedition.

For two weeks beginning on May 18, a research team went to several areas of the Bohol Sea, the south of Bohol and Leyte and the north of Mindanao. The expedition was part of the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project 2005: Survey of the Deep-water Benthic Fauna of Bohol Sea and Adjacent Waters. A team of 30 marine scientists from France (Dr. Philippe Bouchet of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris), Singapore, Taiwan, Russia and the Philippines gathered specimens previously regarded as rare to very rare, including those previously thought to be not found in the Philippines or even in the Southeast Asian biogeographic zone. For example - deep-sea shrimp species and specimens from two relatively rare crab families (Retroplumidae and Tymolidae); a saw-tooth shark identified as belonging to the Pristiophorus species; rare bivalve Archarax. Also called Mindanao Sea, Bohol Sea has developed its own deep-sea ecosystem as a result of being surrounded by shallower waters that separate it from the Philippine Sea and Sulu Sea, two regions with rich marine biodiversity. Previously survey of 15,000 hectares of Bohol's municipal waters showed 1,200 species of decapod crustacean and 6,000 species of mollusk specimens, many of which are new to science.

The Panglao 2005 expedition, a P5.4-million project, is sponsored by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, National Museum of Natural History in Paris, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National University of Singapore, and Total Corporate Foundation. BFAR, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, lent its 64-meter research boat.

Full text available at  Inquirer News Service web site.