BSMB students dive for Coral Observation
By Christopher R. Balaba & Charlemagne P. Recente, USTP Panaon Faculty
Students from the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) in Panaon, Misamis Occidental, taking Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology (BSMB), conducted a Coral Observation at the coastal waters of Barangay Punta, Panaon last March 21, 2023.
Mr. Charlemagne P. Recente, Marine Biology Faculty, and other licensed student-divers joined the thirty-four 3rd year Marine Biology students for the field observation. This activity aims to familiarize students with various coral species as well as the sexual behaviors of corals at night.
Before going diving, the students made sure the Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus (SCUBA) gear was in good shape and had enough compressed air. Students were advised to dive with a buddy as a general rule in SCUBA diving so that someone could look after them during the activity, especially since it is a night diving activity.
Corals are more active at night compared to daytime since most species and other lifeforms were observed with polyps actively collecting suspended particles. A total of thirty-four coral species were identified, and most were massive corals. It was further observed that some species of branching corals are partially spawning under the genus Acropora.