REEFolution; a revolution in coral and fish production

The REEFolution foundation has been established and will build and restore coral reefs with local fishermen in Africa. This creates a revolutionary bridge between fishermen on the one hand and conservationists and diving tourism on the other. The common goal is more coral reef and more fish for everyone.

That more coral also means more fish is a natural fact for recreational divers. They see with their own eyes how healthy coral reefs are synonymous with fish, … a lot of fish. They also see that a coral reef offers protection to the adult fish and their young. Unfortunately, that you have to be careful with that is far from logic for every local fisherman. Many places in Africa and Asia are still fishing with dynamite. All fish will then die and all other life including coral reef will be destroyed. Fishermen use nets with too small meshes and undersized fish are not thrown back. After all, you can't come home without fish if you have to feed the kids at home.

Sustainable coral reef management
The REEFolution foundation will contribute to securing the most important sources of income for residents of coastal areas near coral reefs, fishing and tourism in the longer term. To make local fishermen more aware of their importance for healthy coral reefs, fishermen are offered a short training course (including diving training and training on management of fish stocks and other natural resources). This can be followed by a job as a coral breeder. This provides them with alternative income in the short term. With the help of these fishermen and others involved, existing reefs will be restored and new reefs built. In the long term, REEFolution Foundation strives for sustainable management and use of these reefs, by both divers and fishermen.

Project partner Wageningen University
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) plays a very important role as a project partner of the REEFolution Foundation. Coral researcher Ronald Osinga and a team of students are working at the project locations not only on optimizing the breeding process, but also on revolutionary ideas for structurally improving coral and fish production in third world countries. Socio-cultural aspects will also have to be studied to find out how the local population can ultimately better manage its coral reefs and fish stocks themselves. In this project, the local population, conservationists and tourism have one common interest.

Coral farming started in Kenya
REEFolution started a first project in the south of Kenya last year. Since August, various types of coral have been cultivated at various locations in the sea. These locations are in and near the Kisite Marine Park near the Tanzanian border. The base is diving center Pilli Pipa in the small fishing village of Shimoni. This place is located about halfway up an elongated coastal reef that stretches along much of the East African coast beyond Tanzania southwards into Mozambique. After the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, this is the longest coral reef in the world. In a country like Tanzania, nature conservation and diving tourism is much less developed than in Kenya. Perhaps that is precisely why dynamite is still fished there on a daily basis. REEFolution also hopes to start up projects in Tanzania and other countries in the future.

The board of the foundation works selflessly. To finance the projects that the foundation supports, conservation funds, the tourism industry, the diving world and all people who want to help the local population and nature to create healthy coral reefs and produce more fish will be called upon.

www.reefolution.org (preliminary info, website launch is planned the week before Duikvaker)

For more information and to sign up for the biannual newsletter:
info@REEFolution.org

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