Verde Island, center of the Center of Marine Biodiversity in the World.
The Verde Island sea passage, between the Philippine island of Mindoro and Batangas province, has been identified as the “centre of the centre” of the world’s marine shorefish diversity in a study by Kent Carpenter, IUCN Global Marine Species Assessment co-ordinator, and Victor Springer of the Smithsonian Institute.
Verde Island is a 20 minut boat trip away from Delapaz. There are a few dive sites around the Island, all offering amazing visibility (normally 30m+), and an abundance of marine life. Verde Island is not for the beginner. Strong up and down currents are common, so Verde is usually visited when the currents are small.
This is a world class dive site.
Here is when you will dive at the crystal clear waters and the abundance of fish. As you descent, you will see thousands of Red Tooth Triggerfish, Antheas and Butterfly Fish. Whip corals and Gorgonian fans scatter the wall, with there macro inhabitants, Whip Coral Shrimp and Pigmy Seahorse, thinking they can hide from our guides. Verde Island is often referred to as ‘Fish Soup’ due to the huge numbers of fish that swim in its waters.
Verde Island also holds a huge amount of Nudibranch that rivals Anilao. Thousands of species can be found everywhere here, including the Spanish Dancer. Also beware of touching the reef, as there are some of the largest Scorpionfish you can find, lying, waiting for an unaware fish to swim into its sights.
IUCN Species Programme Global Marine Species Assessment
Conservation International press release
Conservation International feature story.