Shark & Ray protection program - Kenya:

Worldwide, most shark and ray species are overfished and many are threatened in their existence. With our partner Bahari Hai and 4 other NGOs along the Kenyan coast we teach children, fishermen, fisheries authorities and many more, the important role these species play in our ecosystem and why we should protect them. Last November, the first education sessions were held at the Kenya Wildlife Service. The children present are the children of the local fishermen with whom we have a special relationship via our fish gear exchange program.

In the sessions our new lesson materials could be tested for use on a wider scale in 2024 and beyond. The kids promised to share what they learnt with their parents and neighbors and show their artwork. Before the lessons, some kids told us that they only knew sharks to be man-eaters. As they left to go back home, they dressed on their shark hats, singing to the shark motto that they learnt (sharks need our love and not our fear). Little is known about sharks and rays, so there is much to win to save the most ancient inhabitants of our planet. 

Pollution barriers - Bali, Indonesia:

The last 3 years, we have been involved in various village/river clean ups and pollution awareness programs. To be honest, addressing this problem, we went from one frustration to the next. Besides climate change and overfishing, plastic pollution might be one of the biggest challenges in Indonesia. There is a lack of awareness, it has little priority, and there is no serious waste management nor political interest to begin any. Since the problem will not be solved at the roots soon, one effective option is to start at the arteries - the rivers that carry most of the waste into the oceans. 

We have been following the work of Sungai Watch in Bali for a while. With their barriers they block more than 215 Balinese rivers and organize their own waste management. Now the rainy season has started and our corals are flushed with garbage again, we decided to sponsor materials and a first river barrier. The latter includes clean-up and maintenance of the barrier for one year. If all goes well we will extend the clean ups and invest in more barriers.

Mangrove restoration - Alor, East Indonesia:

The mangrove restoration project in Alor with our partner Thresher Shark Indonesia (TSI) is exceeding expectations. So far, more than 8.700 propagules have been planted in 5 months time (the original plan was 10.000 in one year). For this project, 5 full-time young indigenous conservation leaders are hired and more than 30 youth volunteers are involved regularly. Part of the program is engaging and involving the villagers, making them aware of the importance of the mangroves and stop illegal logging. 

Mangrove reforestation is not easy, mortality of the propagules and young plants is often high. Projects we have researched so far had mortalities higher than 60%. In Alor we expect to keep it under 30%. This and the effective collaboration with TSI gave reason to expand the mangrove projects in Alor in 2024/2025. At the moment an assessment of new potential areas is carried out.

Our partners: 

Bahari Hai - Perkumpulan Pemandu Penyelam Amed (P3A) - Pokmaswas Satya Bahari Desa Bukti - Sahabat Alam Pemuteran - Sungai Watch - Thresher Shark Indonesia 

See you again in April!

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