The reserve spans 32,000 hectares of landscape and seascape. It covers the islands of Molocaboc, Diutay, Matabas and Suyac. Also part of it is Carbin, Macahulom, and Panay reefs, and the coastal waters of six barangays of Sagay.
33 species of mangroves and 10 mangrove associate species cover 500 hectares. 10 species of seagrass cover 3,000 hectares. Also found in the reserve are 78 species of macrobenthic algae, 60 genera of corals, 5 species of giant clams, more than 250 species of reef and pelagic fishes, and 4 species of marine turtles and giant fruit bats.
Carbin Reef is about 200 hectares of a marine sanctuary. It is home to schools of fish, blooming coral formations, and sea turtles. Macahulom and Panal Reefs are habitats of colorful corals and migratory birds. One can see in Suyac islet large crabs and centuries-old mangrove trees.
Sagay is a popular tourism destination. It boasts seafood and beaches that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Sagay comes from the word sigay, a semi-spherical shell abundant in the area.
Republic Act 9106 established the marine reserve in 2001. The marine reserve is a successful marine conservation program. It is a product of strong political, and scientific expertise, and community cooperation. The stakeholders earn from sustainable tourism and crafts-making. This is aside from the income they get from sustainable fishing.
Visit the National Museum of Natural History when it reopens. Appreciate the richness of our country’s marine biodiversity as featured in exhibitions.