In the heart of the Sulu Sea, Philippines, at the geographic center of world marine biodiversity, lies an underwater nature reserve that is considered both a mecca for scuba divers and model for coral reef conservation.
The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a 97,030-hectare marine protected area (MPA) in the province of Palawan. It is located 150km southeast of Puerto Princesa City. The Park is composed of two coral atolls – the North and the South Atoll – and the Jessie Beazley Reef, a smaller coral structure about 20 kilometres north of the atolls.
The reefs of Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley are considered part of Cagayancillo, a remote island municipality roughly 130 kilometers to the northeast, inhabited mainly by fisherfolk.