Tubigon Mangrove Forest
Welcome to Tubigon, a charming coastal town in northern Bohol that relies heavily on the sea for its economy. With 12 coastal barangays and 6 islands, it is also home to a thriving fishing industry, with 40% of the population relying mainly on fishing for their livelihood. In fact, Tubigon serves as the most important seaport in northern Bohol, with passenger and cargo ships plying the Cebu-Bohol route daily.
One of the most striking features of Tubigon's coast is its lush mangrove forests, which thrive in the brackish waters of the area. These forests serve as spawning, nursery, feeding, and transient shelter for hundreds of fish species, crustaceans, and invertebrates in the area. The blue crab, in particular, is abundant here and is even featured on the municipal seal.
These mangroves are essential to the area's fish production, serving as life support systems for about 75% of the fish species caught in the area, as well as numerous crustaceans and wildlife. In fact, many marine fish and invertebrates consider the mangroves their "homes" and rely on them at various stages of their life cycles. The loss of mangroves can result in losses in fish catch and food supply, making their conservation crucial.
Fortunately, the Tubigon mangrove forest is expanding, thanks to the local government's efforts to manage these coastal resources. Tubigon boasts the longest local government experience in managing these resources, with the first municipal coastal management code in Bohol, one of the most active coastal law enforcement groups in the province, and a community-based, participatory coastal resource management program.
As part of the mangrove management scheme, the DENR has awarded a fishers association in Macaas a Community-Based Forest Management Agreement (CBFMA) encompassing some 55 hectares of mangrove. This agreement gives the community the responsibility of managing the mangrove area and making decisions for its wise management, as well as the preferential right to the economic benefits that may be derived from the area through economic activities that do not harm its natural environment.
The LGU, along with Logodef and the mangrove component of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Coastal Resource Management Project (CRMP) of the DENR, is currently testing mangrove-friendly livelihood projects. The LGU has also initiated the formation and strengthening of fishers associations through organizational capability-building activities, leading to greater cooperation among them in the implementation of livelihood projects and in the protection of their coastal and marine environment.
Most of Tubigon's coastal villages have achieved a high level of awareness of the importance of protecting their marine and coastal environment. Village elders and ordinary folk have even urged the local government to provide them financial or technical assistance to better manage their resources. The Tubigon municipal council fully supports coastal management efforts at both the municipal and Barangay levels, allocating an annual CRM budget of more than Php750,000.
With its strong commitment to coastal resource management and conservation, Tubigon has achieved the singular honor of being the first among all of Bohol's coastal municipalities to finalize and publish its municipal CRM code. Don't miss out on this gem of a town on your next trip to Bohol!
To get to the Tubigon mangrove forest, you can take a ferry from Cebu to the Tubigon Port, which is the main seaport of the town. From there, you can rent a tricycle or a motorcycle to reach the mangrove areas along the coast.
Once you're in the area, there are plenty of things to do. You can take a boat tour of the mangrove forest, where you can witness the rich marine life and unique ecosystem of the mangroves. Some boat tours also include visits to nearby islands, where you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters.
For those who are interested in environmental conservation, you can also participate in mangrove planting activities with local communities and learn more about the importance of mangroves in the ecosystem. You can also visit the Tubigon fisherfolk community and learn about their sustainable fishing practices.
In addition, Tubigon is known for its delicious seafood, so make sure to try out the local cuisine and seafood dishes. The town also has a number of historic sites, such as the Tubigon Church, which is over a century old, and the ancestral houses of some of the town's prominent families.
Overall, the Tubigon mangrove forest offers a unique and educational experience for visitors, while also promoting environmental conservation and sustainable tourism.
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