Earth's largest fish, Bobby the Butanding or Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) exceeds the length of a typical passenger bus and weighs more than six adult elephants! Though ponderous and slow moving, his massive five-foot mouth helps him gulp down more than two-tonnes of plankton and krill daily. Despite his size, his teeth are only about 2mm long. Coupled with a calm disposition, Bobby the Butanding is completely harmless to humans and is one of the top species WWF conserves in Donsol and other parts of the Philippines. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
With bright blue spots adorning his regal red body, Gary the Leopard Coral Grouper (Plectropomus leopardus) is a sure eye-catcher. Small fish shouldn't get too close though - he has a ravenous appetite! One of the world's most expensive food fish, Leopard Coral Grouper stocks are dwindling due to unsustainable fishing practices. WWF now attempts to manage and regulate the commercial trade in this Live Reef Food Fish (LRFF) to ensure that Gary and his finned friends continue frolicking in and around Philippine coral reefs. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Found throughout the Philippines, the Pawikan or Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) is the only truly herbivorous marine turtle, feeding exclusively on higher algae and seagrass. The presence of sea turtles like Pattie preserves the sea's natural processes: Green Sea Turtles continually browse on sea grass, which are naturally pruned to grow denser, allowing the plants to spread more rapidly amid the sea floor. Thousands of species of fish and invertebrates seek shelter within these submerged meadows, which also store carbon dioxide to retard global warming. Help WWF conserve sea turtles by logging on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Some 30 types of clownfish inhabit the warm waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. These colorful striped fish form mutually-beneficial relationships with sea anemones. Protective mucous coatings give these fish immunity against the stinging tentacles of sea anemones. In return, they protect the anemone from large predators such as triggerfish and angelfish. And just like the famous Disney character Nemo, Clara the Ocellated Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) faces the risk of capture for the aquarium trade. With your support however, reef fish like Clara will be allowed to thrive inside Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Doogie the Dugong inhabits shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, wherever seagrass is most abundant. Sizeable herds of Dugong (Dugong dugon) - the source of popular mermaid lore - once plied the Philippine archipelago until hunting and habitat degradation reduced overall numbers. Thriving populations are now protected in Isabela, Southern Mindanao and Palawan, keeping seagrass meadows cropped, healthy and productive. Dugongs are thought to live up to 70 years, but give birth to only a single calf every three to five years. Through the combined efforts of WWF and government allies, residents of Philippine coasts are becoming more active in saving our gentle Dugongs. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Cetaceans (seh-tay-shuns) include all whale, dolphin and porpoise species. Twenty eight - a full third of all known species - have been recorded in Philippine waters as of 2012. Acrobatic Dolly is a Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris), a species well-known for crazy jumps, spins and leaps. All cetacean species are protected under Philippine Law, prompting WWF to prioritize cetacean conservation. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Cute and cuddly, Chi-Chi the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) occupies a special place for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) - symbolizing not just the global plight of endangered plants and animals - but the organization's cutting-edge conservation work. WWF has been active in Panda conservation since 1980 - spearheading scientific research, creating nature reserves, minimizing poaching and educating communities on the value of endangered species management. In 2004, a survey counted 1600 Pandas - 40% more than the population in the 1980s. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Cyanide fishing is a technique where fishermen squirt some sodium cyanide into the water to stun the fish without actually killing them, making the fish easier to catch. This technique began in the 1960s to supply the international aquarium trade. By the early 1980s however, a bigger and more profitable business began to emerge. The Live Reef Fish for Food Trade (LRFFT) supplies the restaurants of Hongkong, Singapore and China with live reef fish. Today around 20,000 tonnes of live fish are eaten annually in the restaurants of Hongkong alone. WWF works to minimize the damage wrought by cyanide fishers and transform the entire LRFFT trade. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Dynamite fishing is a technique where explosives are set off underwater - making it much easier for fishermen to scoop up the dead and dying fish floating to the surface. Naturally, the explosives can completely destroy large swathes of healthy coral reef. Coral Triangle reefs have for some 30 years experienced massive destruction due to illegal dynamite fishing. For more information on what WWF does to conserve the Coral Triangle (Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and East Timor) - log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Since the practice of trawling began, there have been concerns over the practice's lack of selectivity. Trawls may be non-selective, sweeping up both marketable and undesirable fish. Adults and juveniles are caught and killed all the same. Any part of the catch which cannot be used is considered bycatch, some of which are killed accidentally by the trawling process. Bycatch can include valued species such as dolphins, sea turtles and sharks - many of which are protected and endangered species. WWF advocates selective fishing gear such as handlines to catch such commercially-valuable fish like tuna. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Oil spills are one of the biggest recurring problems for seaborne life. Hydrocarbons, including crude oil and fuel oil, can either be released intentionally or unintentionally by oil tankers after offloading, accidental discharges, oil spills, leaking vessels and shipping accidents. WWF-Philippines has been at the forefront of oil spill response operations since 2006, crafting cutting-edge Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) maps to better guide response teams in dealing with oil spills and other toxic seaborne hazards. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land- based activities. Most of the wastes thrown inland eventually make their way to the sea. High concentrations of plastic materials such as PET bottles or plastic bottles may block the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species. Plastic bags are another menace. Typically made from polyethylene, which is derived from natural gas and petroleum, plastic bags don't biodegrade - they photo-degrade and break down into smaller and more toxic particles on a molecular level to contaminate both water and soil. The danger is real and alarming: in a planet where everything is connected in very fundamental ways, these chemicals enter the food system to eventually poison humans. Reducing our use of plastic bags will minimize this threat. For more information, log on to www.wwf.org.ph.
HOW TO PLAY
The more hazards you eliminate, the higher your score. If Chi-Chi the Giant Panda is beside a hazard chain, your score will be multiplied 5 times! You have 1 minute to play.
Good luck and don't forget to share your scores on Facebook!