Solomon Islands: OceansWatch volunteer opportunity
OceansWatch works with communities to educate and empower them to manage their marine resources and implement marine protected areas.
OceansWatch always recieves more requests for assistance from island communities than we are able to handle. This year we were really hoping that we could make a trip to the Duff Islands and to Vanikoro, remote islands in the Solomons', to begin to develop the participatory relationship needed to work together. First we ensure that all the stakeholders are aligned and in favour of the project and start to establish baseline data. We initially monitor both the marine and socio-economic data.
We have been offered the opportunity to use sailing yacht Anna Rose for this trip. This is thanks to the generosity of Simon and Rosie a couple of cruising sailors from the UK. We already have some members for this expedition confirmed but there is still room for more. If you or anyone you know would be interested in this opportunity please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Work in Vanuatu
Glenn Edney and the team in Vanuatu have been working with Alsen Oben, the Northern fisheries officer and with the community at Port Olry on Esprito Santo. Luckily we had a French speaker onboard this year and Amick Haissoune gave a presentation to the community about the value of conserving their reef. Then they did a reef clean up on the reef in front of the small locally run resort with about 30 people helping. The main rubbish problem was disposable nappies, a big issue that needs addressing.
Work in the Solomon Islands
Chris Bone and the team of scientists in the Solomon Islands have been training seventeen Reef Guardians on Fenualoa Island to understand more about their marine environment and how to ensure that there will be fish to catch in the future. The marine team have been repeating Reef Check monitoring of the reefs to observe the effects of protecting the area. They have been holding regular film nights to educate the whole community on climate change and other issues that are affecting the islands. In addition they have been trialing some coconut oil presses with a team of sixteen enthusiastic women to determine the best way to get the purest, virgin, cold pressed coconut oil.
Safer Boat Travel between Communities
A joint venture between the the C3Project, a group of radio ham enthusiasts, especially Ralph Kluge on the yacht Hafskip and OceansWatch, has implemented two base stations - one in the Reef Islands (Tuo) on Fenualoa and one in Kala Bay on Nendo, and provided them with portable radio packs.
For the local communities travel between the islands is by banana boats, these boats are often overloaded and they rely on getting on a plane to maintain their freeboard. If there is an engine problem there can be serious consequences, and throughout the Pacific many lives are lost through drowning, when boats don’t make it.
The new radio stations now allow reliable base to base and base to portable communications on the boats to help with emergency and rescue coordination efforts. Coupled with flares, a logging system and outboard maintenance and emergency repair training, the communities are now better equipped to tackle possible life threatening situations at sea.
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who have donated their time and resources to this life saving project and to those who continue to offer their support.