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  • Writer's pictureGuido Paap

Dealing with sudden setbacks

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

This morning, our team discovered that a huge ringnet with ropes and weights was cast across the coral nursery area, dragging along half of the nurseries we've been cultivating. Ring netting is a destructive fishing method and officially an illegal activity in the Diani-Chale national marine reserve. However, this incident happened in the last five days of us not being able to dive due to bad weather conditions. It's disheartening to see the hard work we've put into the area damaged so quickly. The fishermen may not have been aware of the coral nursery area's presence or the impact that their actions could have on it. This serves as a bold reminder of the importance of continued education and awareness-raising efforts around the need to protect the reefs.

Despite the sudden setback, we immediately started working to undo the entanglement and we managed to remove a third of the net and ropes. During the process, we freed a trapped snapper, but unfortunately, we also found a large dead batfish that had already decomposed. It's a stark reminder of the importance of protecting the marine ecosystem and the impact our actions can have on it. We're not giving up on our coral restoration efforts. We plan to continue working on unentangling the nurseries tomorrow and doing everything we can to salvage the corals.

We know that setbacks are a part of the pilot process, but it's how we respond to them that truly matters. We're committed to our mission of restoring the coral reef in Diani Beach together with the Mwakamba Beach Management Unit. We understand that it's important not just for the local ecosystem but also the community that relies on a healthy reef for their livelihoods.

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