FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Love the Oceans
Local NGO launches ground-breaking initiative in poverty stricken Mozambique community to tackle COVID-19 related poaching
Love The Oceans is working with local fishermen to ensure that people who have lost their income from a lack of tourism due to the global pandemic, can continue to fish for their families, without destroying fish stocks and coral reefs.
Jangamo, Mozambique: The global pandemic has reduced the income from tourism by over 95% in this third world country, leaving huge amounts of the population without an income. This has resulted in increased pressure on the oceans as people have turned to illegal poaching to feed their families. This unsustainable poaching could result in a collapse in local fish stocks, ultimately leaving people to starve. Love the Oceans sustainable fishing project offers an opportunity for people to continue to fish for their families legally and sustainably – a win for the people and the oceans.
“People have become desperate, turning to illegal poaching for food. This project is the first of its kind in this area and builds on our 5-year coral and fisheries research which provided invaluable evidence of the damage being done to fish stocks through spearfishing and netting,” says Love The Oceans founder Francesca Trotman.
“However, we urgently need more funds in order to ensure that fish stocks remain for future generations.”
This initiative will enable the fishermen to use kayaks to fish from instead of unsustainable and unselective net fishing. The current net and spearfishing has lead to an imbalance in the ecosystem and on the reefs through fishing herbivore populations - a crucial group for maintaining reef health. Kayak fishing allows fishermen to reach deeper waters and target larger carnivorous fish – the fish that predate on the herbivores, allowing the herbivore population to recover and addressing this imbalance that has been documented in Love The Oceans datasets. To participate in the initiative, the fishermen give up their other methods of fishing (netting and spearfishing), take part in an educational sustainability workshop, and report their catches, ultimately alleviating pressure on local reefs and restoring balance in the marine ecosystem.
This initiative is a pilot project with the potential to be scaled up and change the face of artisanal fishing in this region by eliminating net use. Fishing nets are one of the biggest contributors to ocean plastic and are responsible for huge quantities of bycatch (animals caught accidentally in the nets), including baby humpback whales, turtles, dolphins, mantas and sharks.
Initial set up costs for the project are partially funded by zinc-oxide supplier Evercare as part of their Positive Reef Initiative, and the award-winning PaddleYak Sea Kayak Productions CC and Real Cape Adventures CC. The project is designed to eventually become financially sustainable in itself, with the fishermen earning enough to maintain it. LTO requires an additional £9000 to cover set-up costs and has started a justgiving page to raise funds, be it through individual donors, corporate sponsors, fundraisers or equipment sponsors. Even a small donation makes a big difference in their efforts with a meter of rudder cable being just £1.50 and a rod for £30.
The project will start in December 2020 and the justgiving page will be updated regularly, as well as updates posted on all of LTO’s social media platforms.
“The global pandemic has stopped tourism in Mozambique and people have become desperate, turning to illegal poaching for food. This project is essential, giving people the opportunity to continue to fish, legally and sustainably to feed their families.” says Francesca Trotman, Founder at Love the Oceans.
“This is a win for the people and the sea” says Francesca Trotman, Founder at Love the Oceans.
“This is a locally led project, working in partnership with the fishing community. It has the potential to change the face of fishing in this region and save the coral reefs while we still can.” says Francesca Trotman, Founder at Love the Oceans.
Social Media Links:
Instagram & Twitter: @lovetheoceans
LinkedIn & Youtube: Love The Oceans
About [Company]: Love the Oceans is a non-profit marine conservation organisation working in Jangamo Bay, Mozambique to protect and study the diverse marine life and megafauna found in the area. We use research, education and diving to drive action towards a more sustainable future. Our mission is to protect the marine environment in the Jangamo district of Mozambique and establish it as a Marine Protected Area. In doing so, working towards our vision to develop a holistic conservation strategy which can be replicated along the East African Coastline which protects and preserves the diverse ocean fauna native to those areas while empowering the surrounding communities to thrive.
LTO was recently highlighted by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for our work and received international recognition.
Pictures available on request.
Original press release found here: https://lovetheoceans.org/2020/09/28/press-release-sustainable-fishing-project/