We were deployed in Santelmo, a marine protected area, which had a higher density of Crown of Thorns starfish. The other cove, Etayo, was swept for garbage. The raw footage is over 30 minutes of video and perhaps my longest dive to date on a 3,000 psi tank of air. We were underwater for over 70 minutes at a maximum depth of 50 feet, explaining why we had so much. Surprisingly, the cove to the left of Pico de Loro had much to offer: coral patches with fish, lobsters at 40 feet, and a school of over 25 cuttlefish hovering by. Maybe we were just lucky.
The Crown of Thorns extraction is a project of Pepsi’s Sarap Magbago campaign in partnership with SM’s Hamilo Coast and the WWF Philippines. I am a WWF donor, volunteer diver and “video guy” for this cleanup mission.