|The Catwalk thru the Mubod Fish Sanctuary|
Mangroves play a meaningful part in the ecosystem. It protects the shoreline from erosion. It also serve as valuable nursery areas for fish and invertebrates and somehow supports threatened and endangered species like hawksbill sea turtle.
Being an advocate for the preservation and protection of Oroquieta's mangrove forest, it's local government unit (LGU) supported by it's people, built a nursery for the baby mangroves, with at least three different species.
|Propagules of Mangroves|
|Nursery for baby Mangroves|
Out of the many species of Mangroves, I can only recognize three of them. One is, Bakhaw or Bakauan (Rhizophora specie) from the family of Rhizophoraceae. Rhizophora uses ultrafiltration at the root level to exclude salt from coming into it's system. It also propagate best in wet, muddy and silty sediments. With its near-oblong shape of the leaves you can easily distinguish it from the other magroves.
|Bakauan (Rhizophora specie)|
The second specie that I'm familiar with is the Piapi ( Avicennia marina) with it's small and rounded leaves. Avicennia marina, commonly known as grey mangrove or white mangrove, is a species of mangrove tree classified in the plant family Acanthaceae.
|Piapi ( Avicennia marina)|
Pagatpat also known as the Mangrove Apple from the family of Lythraceae is the 3rd mangrove that I'm familiar with. It is also the most utilized mangroves in the Philippines. It has medicinal value, its leaves and fruits can be eaten, it can also serve as a firewood. The heavy timber is resistant to shipworm and pests and is used for building boats, piling and posts for bridges and houses. Though it was already prohibited to cut down mangroves for domestic reasons, still, there are few who did not take heed of this regulation.
How did I know all of these? I was lucky enough ( if you believe in luck) to be part of a team working for the Government and I get to know the Bantay Dagat (Warden of the Sea) of Oroquieta City. I was able to roam around its coastal areas using the pump boat that they provided for free!
|Warden of the Sea|
|The Sanctuary guarded by two brave dogs|
|Red Flag in the middle of the Sea|
This red flag means a lot. To the fish warden, it's a sign that they should be more watchful over their territory. To the fishermen, it says that, they are not allowed to catch fish over a certain area, thus finding other means to support their family. But to the fish (if they ever see it), it's a freedom day! They can swim all they want, without any fear of getting caught. They can lay eggs as many as they can! I can only imagine the happiness in their faces. hihihihhi :)