Archive for September, 2014

September 20, 2014  |  off

Chao Lao Bay was once regarded as an untouched jewel nestled on the Eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand. But, like many coastlines in Thailand, the past two decades has seen the continued decline of its spectacular marine habitat because of over-fishing, over-development and the resulting pollution.
As a result, fish stocks plummeted, directly impacting the livelihoods of small scale fishermen who have fished the Bay for generations. But with the help of a small grant from UN Development Program, the fishermen have started to rehabilitate the Bay, using local knowledge and technology. Already the community has replanted mangrove forests, initiated a coral reef protection project and constructed homes or crab condos for pregnant blue swimmer crabs so that they can safely breed.

Fish stocks are returning to healthy, sustainable levels once again and long-lost marine species are returning to the rehabilitated habitats. As 20 years of environmental degradation is reversed, local incomes have increased by half. The revitalization of the coral reefs have brought tourists back to the area and a 40 percent increase in the number of blue swimming crabs is saving valuable petrol used for fishing vessels

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"People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth's life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth's water is there. It's the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our heart. It's what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won't get better unless we take the action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something." Oceanographer Sylvia Earle

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