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Ecosystem

The marine ecosystems and species of the Sulu-Celebes Sea are representative of the highly diverse and globally significant Indo-Pacific Biological Province. There are 400 species of algae, 19 species of mangrove plants, 5 (of 7) marine turtles, 15 species of sea snakes, 2,500 marine fishes, 10 shorebirds resident in mangroves and 25 migratory birds (16 families), and 22 marine mammals.

The biodiversity of the Sulu-Celebes Sea LME is globally important. The Sulu-Sulawesi Marine Ecoregion is one of the Global 200 Priority Regions identified by the World Wide Fund for Nature in the 1990s. It is one of few marine ecoregions in the world with a regional conservation plan ratified by the governments to conserve the full range of biodiversity over a large geographic area.

The fishery stocks are important for the food security and livelihoods of about 37 million Indonesians, Malaysians, and Filipinos living in the region. Fishes from the Sulu Sea are the source of 53 percent of animal protein in the Philippines and 23 percent of animal protein Malaysia. The fishery sector employs a considerable number of fishermen and provides income to both artisanal and commercial fishermen in all three countries.

image_a thazard (copy)

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