Thirty one new Hope Spots - places that are critical to the health of the ocean - were announced yesterday by renowned oceanographer and IUCN Patron Sylvia Earle, a global initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance “Mission Blue” and IUCN, with the aim to scale up the marine protection necessary for a sustainable development of the ocean.
Sorry I haven’t been posting much original material lately… my time has been enveloped by Zoox and Green Fins work (as jobs tend to do) over the last few months, and as always it has been incredibly rewarding.
A highlight was a project of one the Zoox volunteers who managed to pull together a week of clean ups around various dive sites and beaches around Puerto Galera, Philippines.
In total, 205 people participated over the week, and we managed to collect a whopping 953.5 kg of rubbish and throw in a whole load of local community awareness about marine debris.
Organizing a clean up is much more than meets the eye, especially if you want to count what you have collected, or are trying to organize various people or town garbage trucks to meet you at a certain time. But it doesn’t have to be a big event. Take a picnic at a beach with friends, and after you clean up your mess, go and pick up the rest and see what the weirdest thing you can find is.
On one dive this week, I found everything I would need for for my own picnic including a rug, umbrella, crockery, cutlery and beer (a bit salty but so was the rest!). It’s unbelievable what finds it’s way into the ocean, but when you are faced with the reality of it being right there in front of you, it helps reinforce actions when you are dry again.
It’s thought that 80% of the trash in the ocean comes from land. And that’s not just beach-side communities, thats you and me, and family and friends. Let’s start there, with what we can easily change, and hopefully we can inspire others to start making a difference too.
Grace Peliño (Fisheries Coordinator, Puerto Galera, Philippines) on community outreach and awareness of environmental issues.
Firstly, let me point out that technically, I work in marine conservation. I love the non-9 to 5 nature of my work, that I get to share my passion and love for the ocean with others, and that I have the skills to educate and try and change peoples attitudes and therefore their actions to reduce their impacts on the marine environment.
I work long hours, in remote and beautiful places that are sometimes without certain luxuries like hot water, or cheese, or…internet! I both like and dislike this! But really, I don’t dislike much - and if I do, I try to put it in the ‘just-deal-with-it’ box because I love what I do. I am away from family and friends, and moving around a lot means it’s hard to sustain a routine, or have a base, or a relationship but you just have to find a balance. It’s not impossible. I’ve concentrated on how work affects a personal life because at the end of the day, the work is great and it’s the ‘life’ part that you need to make sure you are happy with.
Yes. My spending habits have definitely changed. I think in Philippine Pesos now, which makes the rest of the world just seem ridiculously expensive. Again it’s about finding the balance between what you want, need and are saving for.
Where’s the fishing?
Look at the patterns of color out in the ocean, massed against Chile’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundary, shown as a green line. There are a variety of fishing restrictions within Chilean waters designed to protect local fishing and fisheries by limiting industrial fishing, but on the high seas beyond the EEZ boundary anything goes. The fishing within Chile’s territorial waters must be relatively good, because this map shows that fishing vessels are trying to get as close as possible without crossing the line, although if you look closely, you can see indications of repeated incursions into Chilean waters (via SkyTruth).