Sta Cruz island folks undergo scuba training PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 February 2015 11:59

To help maintain and preserve the beauty of Sta. Cruz Island, the National Association of  Underwater Instructors (NAUI) a U.S. Recreational and Technical Scuba Training agency, has set a scuba training project for the residents of Sta. Cruz Island, last week until the end of February.

This training is intended to certify residents of Sta. Cruz Island in scuba Diving and upon completion of the course, participants will be qualified underwater volunteers for the Coral Reef restoration and grafting project spearheaded by Sangkalikasan, Department of Science  and Technology (DOST) and the Zamboanga State College of Marine Science and Technology (ZSCMST).

The Department of Tourism Region IX (DOT9) is in support of the Scuba Training, because of its  alignment to the Sta Cruz Island Community Based Tourism Project aiming to develop the  Samal Bangingi community as a tourist attraction and to provide alternative source of income  by engaging them in other productive undetakings.

According to a resident instructor here in Zamboanga City, Dr. Michael Z. Macrohon, the  beauty of the amazing underwater scenery of both islands (Great and Little Sta Cruz Islands)  are comparable to the Apo Island in Dumaguete, Anilao Batangas, Panglao Bohol, and even tubataha reef.

Dr. Macrohon added that there is a need of “Coral Grafting” and “Artificial Reef Placement” for  reef preservation and rehabilitation in the said protected area as declared in Presidential  Proclamation no. 271, where-in the trained villagers will commence and monitor the said project.

“Why the villagers? So that they will own it, they live on the island they will have to protect it.”

Dr. Macrohon said.

A total of 12 male villagers ages 18 to 40 with the desire and understanding to help and learn were recruited. The doctor clarified that one must know how to swim to perfom his duties and responsibilities.

“They will be evaluated in their swimming skills before they will be trained in scuba diving.” Dr. Macrohon added.

The training will benefit both the villagers and the improvement of the islands, as it is frequently visited by tourists locally and internationally because of its pink sand, huge, beautiful, soft and hard corals that can be seen with a simple mask, snorkel, and fins in which these are accessible in shallow depths. (DOT9)