Mesophotic reefs in Benham Bank 'good news' amid climate change


Posted at Jun 09 2016 04:11 PM | Updated as of Jun 09 2016 04:29 PM

In an expedition from May 24 to May 31, scientists were able to document a wide array of folios, corals, fish, and other marine life in the newly-acquired Philippine territory off the shore of Aurora Province: the Benham Rise.

READ: Scientists find diverse marine life in Benham Rise

According to Marianne Pan-Saniano, marine scientist for Oceana Philippines, Benham Bank, the shallowest portion of the Benham Rise, is a mesophotic reef.

She explained that mesophotic reefs are deep reefs that are located 50 meters to 150 meters below.

Though the marine life that they have sighted is not quite unique to the area, it can provide an alternative source of those should the need arise.

"Dahil nga meron tayong mga threats ng climate change, like very strong typhoons, nasisira yung coral reefs natin sa shallow. So meron tayong source and refuge for reef fishes sa deep," she said.

They are scheduled to present a short documentary about the week-long expedition in July.

On World’s Ocean’s Day, celebrated on Wednesday, Pan-Saniano said aside from another expedition, they are hoping this discovery can put more attention to the bank.

"We hope na dahil dito, mas mabigyan ng pansin yung Benham Bank. [We hope] we can come up with some management plan to better manage and utilize what’s there and yun nga, [we are also] hoping for its’ protection as well."