Marine conservation is a concept that is just beginning to rise in developing nations, as they struggle to feed their people with what little is left on dying reefs. Destructive fishing practices, development, pollution, and overfishing have all contributed to the widespread diseased and destroyed coral reefs that surround island nations, who are either unaware or dismissive of the long term effects of reef damage. In some places, like Haiti, locals are even discouraged from entering or learning about the sea, warned by others that the ocean equals death. This lack of education and misinformation is what has led to an even higher rate of decay in Haiti’s coral reefs, but measures are being taken to reverse these effects on a local level. Conservation group Reef Check is working with local Haitian students to educate and train them to do reef surveys, and encourage a dialog with local fishermen about establishing marine reserves to encourage reef life to flourish. Haiti is the only nation in the Caribbean without any marine protected areas, so the efforts being undertaken here are critical to the survival of their people. Check out what’s going on with the program in this awesome footage.
Image via Ed Yourdon