The Maldives Resilient Reefs Project, on Monday, launched a new campaign #FishForTomorrow, aimed at familiarizing the Maldivian people with species found on coral reefs which are vulnerable to overexploitation, and educating the people on how to fish responsibly.
The launch of Maldives Resilient Reefs Project’s new campaign coincides with World Oceans Day, an annual global celebration of the major roles oceans have in everyday life.
The campaign stresses on the importance of protecting and managing populations of vulnerable species to ensure Maldives has “fish for tomorrow”.
The Maldives Resilient Reefs Project expressed concern over lack of awareness on vulnerable species such as giant clams and groupers, especially as more people have turned to fishing for food, income and leisure with the rise in unemployment amid the new coronavirus pandemic, which has left the Maldivian people with less income and more spare time in their hands.
“At the beginning of COVID-19 we saw photos shared on social media of people’s fishing trips. Some people were catching as many as 30 giant clams and 20 parrotfish in one go. This is unsustainable and damaging to the reefs,” said Shaha Hashim, Maldives Project Manager.
Being an island nation, fishing has been a way of life for generations of Maldivian people. However, Maldives Resilient Reefs Project warns that if the Maldivian people don’t fish the right way, they not be able to keep fishing for generations to come.
“Fishing is a way of life for us, but if we don’t fish in the right way, we could end up destroying our own reefs that we depend on so heavily for coastal protection, food and income,” said Ali Shareef, Laamu Research Assistant.
The #FishForTomorrow campaign will run for four weeks
“Most of us wouldn’t believe that a coral reef fish can live longer then a leopard but many of them do. Yet we exploit fish on astronomical scales by comparison. We can’t keep fishing in this way,” said Vivienne Evans, Blue Marine Foundation’s International Project Manager.
Maldives Resilient Reefs Project has launched an interactive and educational game under its new campaign.
Those who wish to show support for the campaign have been encouraged to share the hashtag #FishForTomorrow.
More information regarding the campaign is available on the special website launched by Maldives Resilient Reefs Project for its campaign.
Maldives Resilient Reefs Project is Blue Marine Foundation's project in Maldives, which aims to restore Maldivian reefs as climate-resilient ecosystems for the benefit of the people, the environment and the economies that depend on them.