Underwater Field TripFebruary 28 2018
We are a team of National Geographic explorers going to the Philippines to produce an underwater VR experience for kids.
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The archipelago of the Philippines is known as the global epicenter of marine shore fish diversity, home to 2,824 marine fish species and 484 coral species. With more than five million fishers relying on fish and fishery products as a source of food and income, the marine ecosystem is a vital resource for the country’s growth and development.
Unfortunately, the region is also one of the world’s most impacted by overfishing and illegal fishing, with dynamite fishing still being used in certain areas. A recent study revealed that 59 species have been disappearing from Philippine waters since the 1950s, including some coral reef giants such as the Humphead Wrasse, the Bumphead Parrotfish and the Giant Grouper. Today, 97% of the Philippines’ large-bodied marine species are so low in numbers that they can only be found in certain areas.
In partnership with the Haribon Foundation and with the support of National Geographic, we are producing a five-minute underwater virtual reality experience to bring the heart of the Filipinos back to the ocean. Using the power of immersive storytelling, Filipino teenagers will experience the beauty of Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP), the second largest contiguous coral reef in the world, meeting some of the most charismatic yet threatened species that thrive there. Getting an insight into our interconnectedness with the natural world, they will be inspired to protect it.