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Chris White // May 28, 2013

Sardines are Back in Moalboal

Sardines, or pilchards, are common names used to refer to various small oily fish within the herring family of Clupeida. The term sardine was first used in English during the early 15th century and may come from the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, around which sardines were once abundant.


Sardines at Pescador Island, Moalboal

The terms sardine and pilchard are not precise, and what is meant depends on the region. The United Kingdom's Sea Fish Industry Authority, for example, classifies sardines as young pilchards. One criterion suggests fish shorter in length than 6 inches (15 cm) are sardines, and larger ones pilchards. Fishbase, a comprehensive database of information about fish, calls at least six species "pilchard", over a dozen just "sardine", and many more with the two basic names qualified by various adjectives.



Sardines use body-caudal fin locomotion swim, and streamline their body by holding their other fins flat against the body.


In the United States, the sardine canning industry peaked in the 1950s. Since then, the industry has been on the decline. The last large sardine cannery in the United States, the Stinson Seafood plant in  Prospect harbour, Maine, closed its doors on April 15, 2010 after 135 years in operation.

Pilchard fishing and processing became a thriving industry in Cornwall, England from around 1750 to around 1880, after which it went into an almost terminal decline. However, as of 2007, stocks are improving. Since 1997, sardines from Cornwall have been sold as "Cornish sardines", and since March 2010, under EU law, Cornish sardines have Protected Geographical Status  

Sardines in Moalbaol

In Moalboal we experienced large schools (like clouds) of sardines for more than three years and then they mysteriously vanished in December 2011. They were either illegally caught in nets for the fishermen’s Christmas bonus or they just decided to swim on somewhere else. There is some protection for sardines in Moalboal whilst they stay around Pescador Island which is a Marine Reserve – fishing with nets is illegal; fishing with hook and line is permitted in some parts of the island. The problem is that there is minimal active enforcement of the rules especially at night. As a result sardines are feely sold in the Moalboal fish market.

The is a plan for the Municipality for Moalboal to build a warden’s shelter on Pescador Island so that wardens can be stationed there 24 hours a day, however this has been on the planning board for several years. Funding should not be an issue as the Municipality collects a diving fee of Php 100.00 per dive at any site around Moalboal.

In 2013, the sardines have started to reappear at Pescador Island and are now in sizable schools resembling the clouds of sardines we saw 2 years ago. Some of the predator fish are also back; in particular, jacks are making a killing.

Video May 2013

Check out this video on You Tube taken by guests of Turtle Bay Dive Resort - Dirk and Srinda




Video of sardines at Pescador Island May 2013 complements of Dirk and Srinda

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Chris White // July 19, 2011

Scuba Diving: 2011 Underwater Festival: Photo Competition

 Underwater Festival 2011 Logo


The 2011 Underwater Festival is a Photo and Video Shootout competition and festival held across 10 days in September 2011 simultaneously in the whole of Australasia. Like an 'Underwater Earth Hour' the aim is to capture a snapshot of the region to show the world what we've got to lose.

Join the competition and submit your photos or videos of the spectacular marine life to be found around the sites of Moalboal, Cebu. We have a lot to offer - the sardine run at Pescador Island, up close shots of turtles, amazing macro critters and magnificent had and soft corals. Book your September vacation at Turtle Bay and take great photos and video; go to Reservations at Turtle Bay Dive Resort

There are many prizes to be won. Just click on the following link to find out the competition rules and how to register sign up for underwater festival in September

Check out this short video clip about the festival held in Australia Link to Trailer video for Underwater Festival


Here are a list of just some of the prizes. Check out the Underwater Festival website for a complete list of prizes.


Christmas Island Tourism Association1st Prize: A 7-day dive holiday to Christmas Island including flights from Perth - Christmas Island Tourism Association Inc was the co-organiser of the 2010 Underwater Festival and is proud to offer a fantastic 7-day dive holiday prize to Christmas Island as part of the Underwater Festival 2011.

2nd Prize: Atomic premium Fin Mask Snorkel Pack - Frameless Masks, SV2 Snorkels and Smoke on the water fins



Cocotinos, Manado - A Small Beach Resort1st Prize: 8 Days 7 nights Cocotinos Manado Special Dive Package for ONE - In picturesque Wori Bay, North Sulawesi is a dynamic new beach resort, Cocotinos in the heart of Kima Bajo, a fishing village, overlooking Bunaken National Marine Park.

2nd Prize: aunoc 1CR - silver dive light


Temperate Waters

Ikelite1st Prize: Ikelite video or photo housing of choice (includes one standard port for dSLR housings) - Ikelite manufactures a diverse line of underwater photographic equipment that ranges from housings for simple point-and-shoot cameras to exotic housings for slr and video cameras.

2nd Prize: MARES mask - i3 Liquidskin


Coral Triangle

Nauticam1st Prize: US$3,500 Nauticam voucher (valid worldwide) - Nauticam prides itself on the ability to recognise the requirements of professional as well as amateur underwater photographers and fulfil them through the innovative designs of their products.

2nd Prize: aunoc 1CR - silver dive light



Matava Fiji1st Prize: 1 Week holiday at MATAVA for TWO - MATAVA is Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort on Kadavu Island.

2nd Prize: aunoc 4TEN - super bright dive light



Dragon Mouse Diving1st Prize: Oceanic Datamask Heads Up Display (HUD) - Dragon Mouse Diving - We are not talking about the Great Barrier Reef or an exotic location - this is underwater, in Melbourne, and Dragon Mouse Diving can guide you and provide you with your own photographic memories.

2nd Prize: aunoc 1CR - silver dive light


The Neville Coleman Award

Lembeh Hills Resort1st Prize: 5 day dive package at Lembeh Hills Resort for ONE - Nestled in a secluded bay overlooking the Lembeh Strait, the Lembeh Hills Resortbrings the sophisticated luxury of a boutique resort to one of Asia's most renowned diving venues.

2nd Prize: Dyron - EUR300 voucher (valid worldwide)



Tawali Resort1st Prize: 7-night dive package for ONE - at Tawali Resort in Papua New Guinea including accommodation, meals and up to 18 dives, as well as airport transfers from Alotau.

2nd Prize: Byron Bay Dive Centre - A$500 voucher (dives + courses)


Big Stuff

The Arenui1st Prize: 11 day cruise on the Arenui - The Arenui is a magnificent wooden vessel that raised its anchors in June 2008 to explore the majestic underwater world of Indonesian archipelago. The Arenui's philosophy is to combine the convenience of a fully equipped diving-liveaboard together with the artistic richness and cozy comfort of a tropical luxury setting.

2nd Prize: Mares dive computer - wrist dive computer PUCK



eScuba - Atomic Aquatics Australia1st Prize: Atomic COBALT Diving Computer - eScuba is the Australian distributor of Atomic Aquatics, a brand with a reputation for diving equipment of the highest caliber.

2nd Prize: aunoc 1CR - silver dive light










Chris White // May 20, 2011

Perfect Place - A Review of Cebu Dive Resort in Trip Advisor

Submitted  by Bernard Lermit, Lyon, France, May 17, 2011

Though not diver,I really enjoyed this boutique resort with well-maintained grounds, comfy rooms, helpful and friendly staff. Due to its location, I strongly recommend full-board; you get a tasty, affordable, fresh and healthy food. Short but good cheap winelist.
NO BEACH but a lovely pool with jacuzzi; a spa is under construction.

All guests sit at the big table and it was a great opportunity to meet really interesting people and the owner Chris White, a great guy.

Don't miss the Pescador island tour with impressive "walls" of sardines; the snorkeling in front of the resort is interesting but after some bad weather, we got plenty of jellyfish for a day.

Only a negative point; the drive to other resorts in Mactan, Cebu is boring (it took for us around 3 and a half hours).

We'll be back!


snorkelers view of sardines

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