The Maldives Resilient Reefs project will launch the #FishForTomorrow campaign this Monday, to create awareness concerning coral reef species vulnerable to overexploitation and educate citizens on how to fish responsibly.
Scheduled to launch on World Oceans Day 2020, the campaign will continue for four weeks and aims to educate Maldivians on the necessity of carefully managing vulnerable species populations to ensure "fish for tomorrow".
The Resilient Reefs project expressed concern over lack of awareness regarding vulnerable species such as giant clams and groupers at a time when greater numbers of people are fishing for food, income and leisure after job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic left them with less income and more spare time.
"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 Maldives Project Manager Shaha Hashim.
Highlighting longstanding Maldivian traditions, Laamu Research Assistant Ali Shareef stated, "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".
"Most of us wouldn’t believe that a coral reef fish can live longer than a leopard, but many of them do. Yet we exploit fish on astronomical scales by comparison. We can’t keep fishing in this way", asserted Blue Marine Foundation’s International Project Manager Vivienne Evans.
Maldives Resilient Reefs invited people interested in the campaign to share the hashtag #FishForTomorrow to show support and follow the project on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
An interactive and educational game created as part of the campaign can be played at www.fishfortomorrow.maldivesresilientreefs.com/play while additional information can be found on www.fishfortomorrow.maldivesresilientreefs.com
The Maldives Resilient Reefs project is Blue Marine Foundation’s initiative to restore coral reefs as climate-resilient ecosystems for the benefit of people, the environment and economies.