In 2010 Evolution joined forces with some of the other dive centres on Malapascua to form the Malapascua Marine Protection Fund. This group oversees the collection and management of donations made by divers here on the island, as well as putting in moorings and conservation lines at Monad and around the island.The MMPF is open to all dive centres but sadly quite a few on Malapascua have flatly refused to take part in matters of conservation, while others have agreed but donations are not forthcoming (suggesting they are being added to profit margins instead).
Despite this the MMPF has become a true success story. Currently diver’s donations and the dive centres contribute to the salary of 28 Bantay Dagat. Bantay Dagat loosely translates as Sea Guardians and these guys are former fishermen who now work to protect the coastal area of Malapascua and Monad Shoal.
The Bantay Dagat try to have a daily presence on Monad Shoal to ward away illegal fishermen coming to try their luck at this designated Marine Protected Area. Since 2010 the incidents of illegal fishing have dramatically dropped at Monad and without doubt we have had the best shark sightings on record over the last 18 months. Evolution would like to thank all our former, current and future divers for making this such a success.
We hope to review the MMPF objectives in the near future and see if we can expand our influence to include more areas. Working with the local Barangay or political unit we continue to regularly discuss environmental issues here on Malapascua and how we can help. If you’re planning on coming to Malapascua please do some research and make sure you dive with an MMPF member to guarantee you are part of the solution and not part of the problem!