Apo Island was a community-organized marine sanctuaries and was started when Dr. Angel Alcala, a marine scientist from the Silliman University Marine Laboratory introduced to the local fishermen the importance of creating a marine sanctuary in the area. Initially, there was hesitation, but after a dialogue, Dr. Alcala convinced the community to establish the sanctuary. Assisted by the staff of the SU Marine Laboratory in 1982, the locals selected an area along 450 meters of shoreline and extending 500 meters from shore as the sanctuary site.At present, the island is home to over 650 documented species of fish and estimated to have over 400 species of corals. Most of the Philippines' 450 species of coral can be found here, from tiny bubble corals to huge gorgonian sea fans and brain corals. Visitors and tourists pay a fee to enter Apo Island and to snorkel or dive in the marine sanctuary there. These fees are used to keep the sanctuary clean and in good condition.
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