Dive. Explore. Discover: Exquisite Marine Life in Camiguin

White Island

September 24, 2009 by DPSA Team

White Island is one of the diving sites in Camiguin (found partly in Mambajao), which offers an enchanting black coral garden. The occasion current gives the opportunity to see big jack, snappers and groupers and the fun of a drift drive. There are abundant of school of Moorish Idol and butterfly fish. Blue spotted stingray, ribbon and moray eels, scorpion fish, cowry shells and frogfish are great finds too.

White island is just a kilometer away from Camiguin Island or dive center. The average depth on this diving site is 6 to 25 m. Speaking of diving, you cannot dive if you’re not an advance diver. You can ride it on a boat for 5 minutes to that islet.

Kebila Beach Resort

Kebila beach resort or known as Kantaan dive resort (found in Guinisliban)- the only area in the entire Camiguin Mainland that has extensive white sandy beaches and has the largest existing Mangrove forest. There are brain corals, gorgonians and a big variety of hard and soft coral provide as a magnificent backdrop for this picturesque site. Some species that you can find are the Cuttlefish, rabbit fish, giant clams and cowry shells.

Like the White Island the type of site on this Kebila beach resort is a reef slope, with its average depth which is 3 to 35 m. We can snorkel here and dive as well even though we are only beginner. The Kantaan dive site is for divers who love high-speed drifts.

Kebila Beach White Sand Resort has:

- a 2.7km area of Coral Reef

- 488 sq. m. of the Training Center and Dive Site Camp

- 3,000 sq.m (1999) area of the Giant Clams Sanctuary

- 2,218 sq. m (2002) area of the Giant Clams Ocean Nursery

- 3,000 sq. m are of the Giant Clams Showcase

The Marine Turtle’s Nesting Sites has an area of 40 meter. The turtle species was named as Olive Bridley. The area of the marine sanctuary is 42, 453 sq. m and with Tte Giant Clam Laboratory has an area of 83.5 sq. m.

At present, Kebila Beach resort is protected and its continued protection is strongly recommended not only for its reef but also as one of the very few successful reseeding sites for giant clams.

There are lots of giant clams found here in Kebila Beach. As what the youth volunteer told us that there are more than 2,000 species of giant clams found here. In the whole wide world, there are only 9 types of giant clams. Out of NINE (9), Philippines have only seven (7) kinds of giant clams. Indeed, here in Camiguin it has six (6) kinds of it. These are Tridacna Gigas and Tridacna Squamosa which has a common name of Scaly or Fluted Clam and has a maximum size of 40cm SL. Its habitat is shallow coral reefs down to 18m attached to substrates.

Next is Tridacna Derasa, Tridacna Crocea, Tridacna Maxima which has a common name of Elongated or Rugose clam. Its maximum size is 35cm and its habitat is partly embedded or firmly attached to coral reefs and shallow depths. Next is the Hippopus Hippopus which has a common name of Horse’s Hoof or Rolling Clam or Bear Paw or Straw Clam. Its maximum size is 45cm SL and its habitat is Coral Reef and Rubble Substrates.

The kinds of clams Kebila Beach don’t have are the Hippoppus Porcellanus (China Clams) – this is found in the Philippines but not in Camiguin, and Tridacna Mbalavuena which its common name is Tevoro or Devil Clam and its maximum size is 53 cm Shell Length. Its habitat is 20 to 30 m deep outer reef slopes in oceanic condition. The synonym of the Hippoppus Porcellanus kind of clam is Tridacna Tevora.

The newly discovered giant clam in the whole world is the Tridacna Costata which was newly discovered on August 2008 found so far only in the Red Sea. This was discovered by: Claudio Richter, Hilly Roa Quiaoit (From Northern Mindanao Region X at Xavier University), Mohammad Ali-Zibdale and Maic Kochzius.

Most of the names of the giant clams have the same word like TRIDACNA and HIPPOPPUS. Those clams named as tridacna are colorful while those clams named by hippoppus are dull.

Giant clams have a built in food factories in their self and it is named as a zooxanthellae. They will manufacture it by the process of Photosynthesis. They are going to eat flunk tons too.

The predator of this giant clams was named as murex. Whenever the murex locks the mantle of the giant clam then that is the time where the murex will give off poisons to the clams in which this will be the reason why giant clams will die. But actually, there are lots of factors that we have to consider when and why does the giant clam become weak. This is because of the temperature of water, current, and moons (Months).

These are the Giant Clam Culture Phases:

First is the Hatchery Phase this phase covers from spawning of the clams to rearing of fertilized eggs in tanks until trocophore stage.

Next is the Larval Phase, the 2.9 day old veliger developing a foot (pedi veliger) settles and undergoes metamorphosis into a microscopic juvenile clam (from day 14 to 2 months old).

Next is the Land Based Nursery Phase, the visible clam juveniles (0.2mm SL) in tanks until the development in filled after 1 to two years.

Lastly is the Ocean Based Nursery and Brow out- the Juvenile clams (72 to 3cm) transferred to protective cages in the field until predator-safe an open platforms and to the seafloor 7 to 5 years.

So when the clam reaches 6 years already it will produce sperm (Male). And when it reaches to 8 years old the giant clam will switch to its gender and it will produce an egg (Female). When it is already 12 years old too they will produce both sperm cell and egg cell. They are called then as Hermaphrodite.

The releasing of the sperm cells and the egg cells are called as spawning. They will fertilize outside the body.

In these giant clams, the natural stocks of it have alarmingly declined throughout its global range due to over-harvesting for the following reasons. People are getting these clams for the means of food. These clams are rich in traditional protein source and is highly prized adductor muscle. This is considered aphrodisiac in some Asian and Pacific Countries. The reason next why people get this is -it is because of the smell craft where they will make this as an ornaments in curio trade , and this will be made to souvenirs and jewelries too.

These giant clams are endangered species already. This is because of the over collection of most people. Some of it gets this for the purpose of eating.

Tangub Bay

Tangub Bay is usually a calm dive with its average depth 4 to 30 m. This steep reef slope provides an interesting dive for macro lovers. The ghostpipe fishes, shrimps, porcelain crab and more can be seen here. So as the, colorful parrotfish, Anemone Fish and different variety of shells are some of the regulars of this site. The occasional visit of the turtle could still be sighted.

Mantigue Island

Mantigue island is a 4 hectares of evergreen forest with its average depth of 3 to 40 m, fringed with white granule sand beaches. A fishing village is found in the north of the island. One side of the island is a white sand beach with coral offshore, and the other opposite side provides a deep drop-off for snorkeling and diving. One gets there by light water craft in 25-30 minutes from San Roque, Mahinog.

Jigdup Shoal

This is another dive site in Camiguin. Here it lies approximately 2 nautical miles from the shore of Balbagon, Mambajao. The seabed rises was forming a shoal about 10 hectares in size hosting a variety of aquatic life.

It is one of the best dive spots in Camiguin Island teeming with fishes of different species and shapes/sizes. This is like a sunken sandbar where it has a slope and drop off kind of reef site and an average depth of 2 to 40 m. Soft corals, black corals, macro critters, schools of jacks, tunas and the seasonal passing of the Mobulas. It has excellent visibility and is best for underwater photographs, and novice divers.

Burias Shoal

The Burias Shoal is slightly smaller than Jigdup.This is an exciting drift dive. The mild to strong current makes you feel like flying.

Burias is among the favorite spot for high adventure seeking divers for it has a slope reef type and an average depth of 10 to 40 m.. It hauls the thrill seeking divers to the shoal to see schools of jacks, tuna, mackerels and barracudas. A verdant black coral covered bottom is also one of its treasures. Diving here can be strong, however, the little effort spent fining against the current is worth the excitement.

Old Volcano

Old Volcano dive site is a nice site where divers enter this site thru a narrow channel in between 2 canyons. This type of site is lava formation and pinnacles and an averaged depth of 5 to 40 m.. There is a fairly steep drop full of corals and an enormous variety of small, vibrantly colored fishes. The landscape alone is amazing. Formed lava and boulders create overhangs and pinnacles covered with colorful hard and soft corals, giant clams, and oysters.

Divers who pay particular attention during safety stop may find little surprises, Octopus hidden in the rocks,and with the ghostpipe fish in soft coral.

September 25, 2009

Sunken Cemetery

Sunken Cemetey is lying 20 feet underwater in Barrio Bonbon, Catarman. This is the remnants of a volcanic eruption. The cemetery grounds sank in 1871 when Mt. Vulca-an erupted and now a concrete cross stands on the water as its reminder.The coral encrusted tombstones can still be explored by snorkellers and scuba divers.

Looking underwater, a beautiful reef slope type has grown and is the host to a healthy marine life in the average depth of 3 to 25 m.

This site is now a marine sanctuary and is growing abundantly. For those who want to take a closer look, there are bancas that can be rented to take you to the site of the cross. Sunken cemetery is a perfect place to watch the wonderful sunset over the ocean.

Punta Kabayo, Canyon and Purto Christo

Punta Kabayo is an interesting reef slope type site which was given its funny name, (which literally means “horse’s point”) because of the odd horse-shaped rock. The average depth of 8 to 30 m underwater, boulders are covered with soft corals giving it an “in bloom” look. The dazzling array of small colored reef fishes, a variety of sweetlips and snappers are some of the fishes that you may encounter.

It is the same with the Canyon too which have a Lava streets with cracks, crevices and channels that provide hiding places for eels, shells, scorpion fishes and other macro critters. . The canyons at 5 and 30 meters are a sight full of wonder with its reef slope type.The Punta Christo/Alga has a type of reef slope type of site which has a canyon of different sizes and the formations 10-30 m underwater. The big diversity of marine life exists in this canyon maze. This is an interesting fun dive site.


  • Methodology

    Our topic is a bit broad and wide in coverage.As we tickle our skills in gathering all data we needed,we were able to learn many things – things that are not provided within the four walls of the classroom. We interviewed many personalities – people of different walks of life. We toured around the island and got all information first hand. We also consulted the internet for some and other informations to support our explanation and update whatever it is to be updated.

  • Conclusion
  • Tiny. Small. Little. Miniature as it is but Camiguin Island does not only offer hospitable and generous people but also numerous dive sites thirsty to be explored and enjoyed.

    We are very thankful and blessed that God Almighty gave us, Camiguingnons, a very rich marine life sufficient to sustain life on earth.

  • Recomendation
  • Philippines is known to be a very rich country in terms of natural resources; and so is Camiguin Island. But even if Camiguin is for real rich in marine life, people should not or shall we say, should NEVER abuse its richness because sooner or later, everything will just vanish in due time. If this happens, the richness of these natural resources will deteriorate and be gone. If nobody does something today to preserve any of these species and dive sites, then, we will not see tomorrow a shining star.

    It is now the right time to repay back our Mother Nature for all and for everything she had provided us since time began. Let us not wait for it to be gone before preserving and reviving them. Let us act now and get involve – for the love of our Mother Nature and of course, ourselves.

  • More Info.
  • This is the official entry of Camiguin National High School for the Doon Po Sa Amin Learning Challenge, a project where teachers and students ofSmart Schools Program (SSP) partner schools are encouraged to use computer and Internet technologies to generate web-based information and education materials about their respective communities.