As we all know by now, there are major global threats to coral reefs such as climate change. This is a problem that needs global change, it requires the entire world to act. But if we as an individual don’t act responsibly, there will never be change. By addressing problems in our direct surroundings we can also be influential, creating a bigger movement. Eventually, this bigger movement can push businesses and politics to change.
There are several threats to coral reefs that originate more locally. These problems we can address in local workshops and awareness campaigns. Overfishing is a major problem for the seas and oceans, and for coral reefs. In a complex ecosystem like a coral reef all species depend on each other. Overfishing certain species can create an imbalance to the entire ecosystem and can cause its collapse.
The last decades pollution has become a major threat as well. There is a direct impact from materials covering and killing corals such as diapers, clothes, rice bags and fishing gear. And there is the impact marine micro plastics have. These small plastic particles have been found in coral polyps.
Therefore, our awareness programs consist of the following subjects:
- General marine biology to create knowledge about the coral reef ecosystem;
- Threats to the reefs eg overfishing, destructive fishing techniques, pollution, and discuss solutions;
- The function of Marine Protected Areas / No Take Zones;
- Future of the reefs and the importance to the community;
With our Kenyan partner on shark conservation Cordio we developed education programs on the biology of sharks and rays, their importance to the habitat and how to protect them. We made different programs for school children, fishermen, and the general public. We have these programs interwoven in our general awareness programs. See shark&ray conservation
In less developed countries the local community often depends on fisheries. In our campaigning we don’t forget that important human factor. It is our aim to provide for healthy fish resources for people who depend on them by bringing back the balance in the reef ecosystem. Towards the ‘Western’ world our focus is a bit different. Since here there is no dependence on fish and there are enough alternatives for fish, we believe eating less fish is an important step the Western world should take. More than 90% of all fish populations is depleted, overfished or fished to its maximum sustainable level. The oceans can not cope with this high demand anymore.
What can you do?
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