Thursday, December 18, 2008


The recent winner of the J Paul Getty award for conservation is a champion of marine planning, and he comes from a small coastal community, just like my hometown, Port McNeill. This marine-conservation champion's name is Roger and fishing is one of the most important sources of income for those in his community. Local fishermen use nets, lines, and spear diving to catch fish. In an interview with the BBC, this prize-winner mentions that he has seen fish stocks rapidly decline over the years in his village, and he is worried about the local corals and sea grass that are being destroyed by bottom-dragging fishing techniques. In his small coastal town, he sees the impacts that unsustainable practices have on the livelihood of his villages, and has spent much of his time advocating for community-managed marine protected areas.

It is a hard job to get people to think about the sustainability of the oceans; and four hours away in the capital city, people seem too far removed to understand or to really think much about the future of the oceans.

All of Roger's concerns sound like concerns that we have have on the Pacific North Coast. Is he from Sointula, Sandspit, or perhaps Prince Rupert?

Actually, he's from Africa.

Samba Roger, living in Andavadoaka, a fishing community on the island of Madagascar, is just one example of the type of people who are taking action to preserve our ocean ecosystems worldwide.

To see a great photo presentation about Samba Roger, click here.

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