Mariculture Coral Farming in Tumibo , Lubang Island


Lace Coral

On Sep 16, 2012 representatives of RVS Fishworld, and BFAR, visited Lubang Island together with 4 Star Gen. Esperon and initiated with the Municipality of Lubang the establishment of a coral farm in the Tumibo Sawang area.

The mariculture farm features a five-hectare seabed floor, from the shoreline ranging up to five meters of water, which makes it an ideal nursery site for growing coral.

Coral farming is the cultivation of corals for commercial purposes or coral reef restoration.

The process bypasses the early growth stages of corals when they are most at risk of dying.

Coral is also farmed by scientists for research, by businesses for the supply of the live and ornamental coral trade, and by private aquarium hobbyists.

On the 1st. February 2013 the site, the first of its kind in the Philippines, was officially opened.

At the opening RVS Fishworld explained:
"Custom-built double-decker platforms are built and locals in Lubang recruited to gather fragments of live corals and place them in cement discs, as fastened by nylon wires onto a metal wire tray.

Each deck can accommodate up to three trays, which equate to a total of 600 coral frags per platform. Afterwards, the platforms will be placed into the seabed, where depth levels vary depending on the type of corals to be planted.

Every week, divers will go into the sea to clean and check the coral frags. When a coral frag grows into an appropriate size after six months, a portion of it can be re-cut to reproduce “hundreds to thousands” of frags to replant."

Reference: Coral Farming Introduced In Lubang By Eugene Y. Santos (Manila Bulletin )
February 2, 2013, 7:08pm

Beachfront Sign - Do not pollute our environment

In November 2013, a few days before cyclone Yolanda struck, I visited the Coral Farm site.

Because I was just recovering from a severe bout of bronchitis I could not risk visiting the underwater section of the farm with my small waterproof camera.

Thus for the purpose of this web page, which is to give a quick insight into Coral Farming in Lubang Island, I have used some screen dumps from a video produced by RVS Fishworld.

I hope that this comes within the category of "Fair Use" and that interested people further pursue the well prepared and informative videos.

In particular is an interesting video posted by Barnett Shutman of RVS Fishworld. It depicts the coral farm's underwater nursery tables and trays one week after the CAT. 5 Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Lubang Island.

Degradation of reefs means the loss of food security and employment for coastal peoples, many of them living in poverty.

Corals are a keystone species of the reef ecosystem in the same way that trees are keystone species of forest ecosystems. Corals appear to be essential to reef restoration just as trees are essential to reforestation.

Reference: Reef Restoration by Alasdair Edwards and Edgardo Gomez. Concepts & Guidelines.

Buildings at the Mariculture coral farm
Welding a nursery table frame
Attaching concrete disks to the mesh nursery trays
Mariculture RVS cement disks
Inserting coral fragments into the concrete disks
Preparing polystyrene raft for transporting tables and trays to the underwater nursery
Transporting table frame to raft
Table frame on raft
Nursery table overboard
Splashdown of nursery table frame
Positioning of nursery table frame
Preparing coral frag. before immersion in the sea.
Preparing to transport a tray to a nursery table
Immersion of a coral nursery tray
Placing nursery tray on table
Immersed coral frags.
Tying nursery tray to table
Coral growing at the aquaculture farm
Coral frags. before harvesting
Cutting coral fragments in Cebu - 2000

A community-based 2 hectare coral farm at Caw-oy, Olango Island, Cebu, Philippines was set up in 1997. Details are at:

Coastguard personnel at the RVS 4 star Coral Farm