Hey everyone it’s me Frances blogging about my awesome time with the Reef conservation team during our days in Mauritius. Reef Conservation is a team of NGOs working toward the aim of helping to protect and restore lagoon and reefs in Mauritius. The organisation is trying their very best to try and raise awareness about marine life and their importance. They also do research and monitoring on marine life.
The team had some amazing ways on how to educate and teach the public about the importance of the marine ecosystem.
Firstly they have an on-going project known as FMB which stands for Fixed Mooring Buoys. This is one of the ways where the team tries to puts few buoys in very active places which is most frequently visited by boat skippers. They have buoys for shallow and deep lagoons. The idea behind the implementation of buoys was when skippers come to this area they tie their boats to those buoys and avoid dropping the anchor on corals which in the process breaks those corals. They also offer training to the local skippers to show them how to use those buoys in the right way. This project is to be said successful because there are 89 buoys in the Mauritian water and many more to be placed, when the team gets sufficient amount of funding since those buoys are really expensive. In my opinion I think FMB project is a really good initiative and the government should keep funding such project. I would suggest such a project for Seychelles, if ever in the future there is a steep increase amount of boat activities in our water I believe FMB is an ideal project to use.
Secondly another very important project, which I believe the most crucial one, is to get the message across is educating the public. The RC team has a ‘Marine Environmental Education Project”. I believe that education and awareness is the key when it comes to marine life because most people don’t even know the ocean’s importance.
So the team has now been involved with
• 85 primary schools
• trained 170 teachers
• help schools develop their own Environmental projects
• teach the kids how to swim
• organise summer camps
Furthermore, RC team has this super cool educational bus that goes around Mauritius stopping in different popular places such as the beach to get the people involved and teach them about Marine life. The bus’ name is ‘Bislamer’. I love this idea I think its an awesome way to raise awareness as they can touch different ages of people and its all for free. The bus itself is super beautifully coloured carrying lots of information about the ocean.
And lastly another impressive project was the VMCA project which stands for Voluntary Marine Conservation Area. This one actually shocked me a little because it was the fishermen who was asking to put into account areas where no one could come and disturb in the place, a place we would call Marine Park here at home but just not by law. Its crazy to think that it’s the locals who now want such areas as I’m sure they recognised a large decline in the number of fish in their sea.
All in all I think Reef conservation team is doing such a great job and they definitely need more support. I think the government should try and help NGOS such as RC if they want to be part of the Blue Economy or Ocean Economy as the Mauritians call it to try and restore their very deserted reef.