The “PROTECTWPS: Predicting Responses between Ocean Transport and Ecological Connectivity of Threatened ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea” scientific expedition was successfully completed.
PROTECTWPS was an all-Filipino scientific expedition launched on April 22 with goal of exploring and conducting “biological and oceanographic research activities within Kalayaan Island Group-West Philippine Sea (KIG-WPS),” Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s Agos ng Buhay said.
DENR Agos added that the expedition aimed to generate baseline data in order to further understand the changes occurring in the country’s marine ecosystems.
“RV Kasarinlan has successfully completed her maiden voyage from Manila to Palawan and to the Kalayaan Island Group ending in Pagasa Island,” said Deo Florence L. Onda, assistant professor at UP Marine Science Institute, in his social networking account.
“Scientists and crew aboard RV Kasarinlan are now back in Manila,” Onda noted.
“This demonstrates the ability of Filipino Scientists to sail, study and conduct research in our own waters and beyond,” he added.
According to DENR Agos ng Buhay, the expedition team was composed of seventy-two participants from different agencies led by the UP Marine Science Institute, in partnership with the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau and the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.