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Lamave Philippines

↓ Lamave Philippines
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Reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) on one of the Philippine coral reefs in the Bohol Sea.
Author: Tommy Schultz
Reef shark (Triaenodon obesus) on one of the Philippine coral reefs in the Bohol Sea.

Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE) is a Philippine non-governmental organization engaged in research and conservation of marine megafauna and the marine environment in the Philippines and the Southeast Asian region.

The LAMAVE organization began its activities as a marine mammal research project in the Central Visayas region, including the waters south of Bohol Island, known for strong currents that bring nutrients to the surface and are one of the reasons for the immense biodiversity of this area.

The Bohol Sea is home to marine megafauna, including whales, whale sharks, mantas, and sea turtles. Research areas have been diversified to cover as many species as possible, and over time the project has expanded, and the number of research centers has increased, covering the entire country. So far, the team has collaborated with local governments and communities in over 12 provinces of the Philippines.

The LAMAVE team believes that combining science and the efforts of ordinary people is the key to protecting the oceans and their inhabitants. The organization focuses its efforts on large species, using them as a kind of umbrella to protect the entire marine environment, including species considered less spectacular by ordinary people.

As part of its research, the organization studies the behavior, distribution, and habitats of large marine species to identify so-called "hot spots" that should be prioritized for protection and to estimate the population size of marine megafauna species in the Philippines.

Typical team tasks include implementing underwater video systems (RUVS) and maintaining a nationwide acoustic telemetry network to monitor shark and ray populations, as well as visual surveys during research expeditions. These underwater data collection methods contribute to expanding the knowledge base, which allows for precise selection of conservation actions for sustainable management of these species.

Research findings are continuously shared with the government and all interested parties to minimize human impact on these species and to develop tools and methods for effective conservation management. Thanks to research results, interested entities receive data that facilitate the creation of marine protected areas and policy decisions.

The XDEEP Exploration Support Program equipped divers conducting research as part of the LAMAVE organization with NX Ultralight buoyancy compensators, used during work related to the maintenance of underwater acoustic receiver networks and video cameras.

Advanced diving equipment allows us to expand the research we do. The equipment provided by the ESP enabled us to study some of the most remote coral reefs in the north of Palawan in the Philippines to identify critical habitats and gather data to better protect and conserve reef manta rays.

Ariana Agustines, Marine Scientist, LAMAVE Program Manager

For more information about Lamave Philippines, visit:


↓ Date of the project

2023 - ongoing

↓ Location
Bohol Sea, Philippines
↓ Goals
  • Protection of marine megafauna in Southeast Asia by providing scientific tools to support sustainable management of marine resources.

  • Researching how sharks and rays utilize the environment and the amount of space they require, in order to identify priority areas for their protection.

  • Evaluation of the population size and species diversity of sharks and rays.
  • ↓ Team
    • Jessica Labaja
    • Ariana Agustines
    • Sally Snow
    • Zach Riskin
    • Titus Cañete

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