Dive Quirimbas are working with local children and fishermen on Ibo Island to teach them about turtles and sustainable fishing on Ibo Island in a bid to ensure the sustainable conservation of marine resources in the Quirimbas Archipelago for all. It is high time the balance between people and marine resources in this spectacular region is revived.
It is true that turtles and fish are a source of protein for local people but these species also need to be conserved in a sustainable way so that firstly, there is enough for everyone and, secondly, so that species do not die out, upsetting the delicate ecosystem balance.
The Quirimbas Marine National Park aims to “conserve the diversity, abundance, and ecological integrity of all physical and biological resources in the park area, so that they may be enjoyed and used productively by present and future generations”.
And since June, Ibo Island role players have been very involved in intensifying their efforts to work towards this in the Quirimbas Archipelago. Dive Quirimbas attended a meeting to discuss the proposed new Lighthouse Sanctuary and turtle poaching with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), Quirimbas National Park (QNP), CCP (??) Maritime Police, Education and Ibo committee.
Then the group then went out on a field excursion with Dive Quirimba’s to see the area of interest for the Sanctuary. They agreed to do a DSD (??) for some committee members so that they could see for themselves the destruction of the reef at Lighthouse Reef.
As a result, the committee agreed that education about marine resources is vital and the first Turtle awareness lesson at the local Ibo Island school went very well! WWF and Dive Quirimbas are designing a programme that will see children being taken closer to turtles, dolphins and reefs as an active education process. They also want to paint the school with colourful pictures of marine animals to enable marine learning in a fun, interactive way.
Dive Quirimbas are also working on a short presentation for the local fishermen regarding the best fish to catch in a sustainable manner. They will also enlighten fishermen as to why Turtles and Sharks are so important to the ocean and the Quirimbas Islands – an integral part of the food chain and marine ecosystem.
Local anglers need to know that eating Turtle and Shark meat has negative impacts on human health. Some form of measuring device for Lobsters is also being put into action.
It takes people working together to make conservation work and this is exactly what Ibo is striving for!