Benham Rise Program

In April 12, 2012 the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) of the United Nations adopted in full the Republic of the Philippines’ Submission for an extended continental shelf (ECS)  in the Benham Rise Region. This grants Philippine sovereignty to 135,506 km square of the Benham Rise Extended Continental Shelf.

A program to initiate scientific research and exploration in the Benham Rise was approved by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in December 2013 and implemented by the Marine Science Institute (MSI) and the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) of UP Diliman and the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños  (UPLB). A joint exploratory  and oceanographic cruise between BFAR,  UPD and UPLB departed Manila on May 2, 2014 for the Benham Bank, a seamount on the southern part of the Benham Rise on board BFAR’s research vessel M/V DA-BFAR to conduct oceanographic and benthic habitat surveys for the next 2 weeks. The science team is composed of researchers from the MSI, BFAR, SESAM and the Institute of Biological Sciences of UPLB, UP Mindanao, UP Baguio, Xavier University, and student volunteers from  Ateneo de Manila and MSI. It is hoped that information gathered from this cruise will pave the way for more research programs in this important but unexplored area of the Philippines.

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