Through media and campaigns Coral Reef Care has created public awareness for marine issues and tries to initiate change. Everyone can make a contribution in his or her own way to stop the deterioration of our oceans. Being environmentally aware as a consumer and being careful as a tourist will contribute to the improvement of our environment.
We strongly believe eating less fish is an important step the Western world should take. Overfishing is one of the biggest threats to the oceans and therefore a focus of the foundation. Not forgetting the human factor of course, in less developed countries the local population depends stongly on fisheries. It is our aim to provide for healthy fish resources for people who depend on them.
Coral Reef Care has supported projects in Dahab (Egypt-Sinaï) where signboards are placed at all diving-, snorkel- and swimming sites. These signs indicate an ’easy entry’ and the ’do’s and don’ts’ of diving. Tourists often walk over the reef flat in shallow areas to reach the deep water. At some sites this distance can be up to 70 meters. By pointing out easy entry’s kilometres of reef can be saved.
The Galapagos islands are one of the most fragile marine ecosystems in the world. With unmatched biological diversity, and a staggering amount of endemics (species only found there). The archipelago and the waters surrounding them are a nature reserve. Unfortunately the park rangers do not have enough capacity to stop poachers from illegal fishing for tuna, sharks and sea cucumbers. CRC has worked together with WildAid and the Park rangers to stop poaching and funded several of their projects in the past years.
The Indian Ocean plays a central part to the quality of life in East Africa. People largely depend on the fish stocks and the gradually growing tourism on the islands. To secure these resources and to protect the pristine reefs, Coral Reef Care has launched several projects on Zanzibar, Pemba, Mnemba and Mafia Island with local partner Marine Cultures.
We have different on-going projects in the area, of which a few are mentioned here. We install mooring buoys to prevent anchoring on the reef by boats. We create artificial reefs by planting small fragments of corals on existing substrate or new substrate (‘reef balls’). We organize various awareness campaigns. We create (temporary) No Take Zones (= no fishing zones) to protect nursing grounds and give the ecosystem a chance to recover.
Without coral reefs there will be practically no fish left in the area. We like to see this project on the islands around Zanzibar as a start of a larger project. In other areas in East Africa dynamite fishing is practised a lot and poses a big threat to the reefs and the rest of the ecosystem. With the lessons learnt on the islands, we hope one day soon we can put our knowledge to practice in these areas that really need our support.