It’s not everyday you get a chance to have a direct impact in protecting coral reefs habitats in the South Pacific. I mean really, we all talk about protect the ocean, but when do we ever get the chance to actually get involved in the process…well, you now have the chance!

There is a project starting in June to implement a set of Marine Protected Areas in the Solomon Islands. There will be no debate nor will there be any waiting on the government to approve the Marine Protected Area (MPA)…The system will be installed right away and the Solomon Island community will have a system of MPAs by the end of October 2012.

I believe in this project so much, that I asked the organization involved to let Speak Up for Blue help raise funds for the project.

We at Speak Up for Blue don’t get any money for it, we just want to see Ocean Conservation done RIGHT…and RIGHT NOW!

Want to know more…check out the video below as I interview Chris Bone, CEO of OceansWatch, who is leading this project at the request of the Solomon Island Chiefs.

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to this audio interview I did with Laurie who is the Solomon Islands liaison between the community, government and Oceans Watch. He stresses the importance for a set of Marine Protected areas to secure the protection of the Ocean and the health of the Solomon Island population who depend on fish for sustenance.
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Here’s How It Works:

Speak Up for Blue is helping Oceans Watch to protect a coral reef system surrounding the Solomon Islands.

Oceans Watch, a non-profit, charitable organization was invited by the Solomon Island communities to help them protect their coastal resources so that they can secure their food, water, and culture.

There are few places in the world where a person can have a direct positive effect on protecting the Ocean than the Ocean Protected Area that is being proposed for 2012.

A Citizen Funded Marine Managed Area

OceansWatch is a young, innovative and entrepreneurial NGO that thinks there has already been enough research done to realize that urgent action needs to be taken to save the Oceans and support the people that rely on them for their daily sustenance.

OceansWatch takes action now through facilitating scientists, divers, sailors, conservationists and Yacht owners to undertake marine conservation and sustainable development projects in remote Islands. OceansWatch only undertakes projects in developing countries where it is invited to work with coastal villages that it accesses on donated yachts.

OceansWatch does not easily fit into the pigeon holes of many granting organisations. For example as we use a lot of donated goods and services our administration can look expensive, even though we provide tremendous value for money! We also try to avoid real offices in the countries where we work in order to save money. Once again this can make funding very difficult. We move quickly and we are expanding rapidly so may not be able to apply for funding years in advance as some granting bodies require.

We run a lean mean organisation with only one full time paid member of staff as we rely almost entirely on volunteers. Our sole member of staff is our CEO, who draws a gross wage of US$21,000pa (when we can afford it). Compare that to some other NGO salaries!

We believe that there is a groundswell of conservationists that want to see real people take real action RIGHT NOW to save this beautiful planet. People who are not content to sit on their hands and wait for their governments to do something. The marine conservation message is already load and clear. There is no time to waste, we will destroy our marine ecosystems, all the fish will be caught, all the coral bleached, all the sharks gone and the people who live on the coasts will no longer be able to rely on the oceans to feed them.

OceansWatch is teaming up with Speak up for the Blue so that conservationists who care can have an opportunity to donate directly to an organisation that will make a real difference right now. This first partnership project will produce a 30,000 ha Marine Managed Area in the Solomon Islands. It will happen in 2012.


 

 

 

Below are tables detailing the costs of specific needs required to successfully complete the project. BUY the materials for marking off the Marine Protected Area Boundaries to say that YOU helped create a Marine Protected Area in the Solomon Islands!!! Or BUY and entire set of equipment for a Reef Guardian, who are responsible to monitor the reef and keep it safe from poachers!!!

Marine Reserve Marking Needs Units Required Unit Cost $NZ $US $EU $AU
MPA marker buoys 6 $ 25.00 $ 150 $ 116 $ 89 $ 114
Chain and Roper for above 6 $ 30.00 $ 180 $ 139 $ 107 $ 137
Yellow triangle shore MPA markers 4 $ 50.00 $ 200 $ 155 $ 118 $ 152
Parts to mount the markers (above) 1 $ 60.00 $ 60 $ 46 $ 36 $ 46
Community Noticeboard 1 $ 300.00 $ 300 $ 232 $ 178 $ 229
MPA Flyers 500 $ 0.50 $ 250 $ 193 $ 148 $ 190
Total Marine Reserve marking costs $ 1,140 $ 882 $ 675 $ 869

Any donation will help, money is our main requirement of course but you can donate time too or perhaps you have a yacht that is not being fully utilized? Please contact Chris Bone at chris@oceanswatch.org