Local Ocean Conservation Group Raises Funds to help the ocean and change the lives of an Indian community

Positive Change for Marine Life launches their newest project and will be hosting an event on November 22, 2017 to raise vital funds for their Honour the Ocean, India project.

Local marine conservation group Positive Change for Marine Life (PCFML) will be hosting an intimate evening of incredible world music, art, raffles and presentations on Wednesday 22 November at Mandala & Co. Mermaid Beach from 6.00pm. With live performances from renowned artist Peter Hunt (Kooii), Yeshe and Luke Bennett, as well as an in-depth outline of PCFML’s vital work to transition a fishing village in southern India toward industries which conserve the ocean, rather than exploit it, this is an event not to be missed!

All funds raised from the event will go towards PCFML’s Marine Conservation Masterplan in India.

Though recognised for its rich marine biodiversity, the small fishing village of Vizhinjam, located less than a kilometre from the beautiful beaches of the world class coastal resort town of Kovalam, lies is at the epicentre of a crisis. A community that is heavily reliant on the ocean for its ongoing survival, the town is struggling to navigate a constant burning of plastic, fish stocks on the verge of collapse and a waste epidemic that is out of control. Fishermen who previously travelled within 5km of shore, now have to travel over 30km to bring in a profitable catch and often they catch more plastic than fish. As the ocean suffers, so too do the people that rely on it to put food on the table and ensure a roof over their heads.

“Each year, fisherman have to travel further out and spend longer hours at sea in hopes of bringing home enough fish to support their family’s needs,” explained Elizabeth Tovar Carvajal, the Global Coordinator for the program. “Every generation has witnessed first-hand the reduction of their catch. Fish are undeniably sparse and considerably smaller than they were only a decade ago”, she said.

Earlier this year, PCFML sent six ambassadors and two staff members to Vizhinjam to assess the problems facing the area in order to determine long-term solutions to prevent further loss to the region’s biodiversity. Their strategy aims to assist the region in becoming more sustainable, whilst ensuring that the community can thrive well into the future.

“The situation in Vizhinjam is truly dire. However, there is an incredible amount of community support for the work that we are doing on the ground,” said Ms. Tovar Carvajal.

The main problems facing Vizhinjam are over-fishing and a lack of awareness around waste management practices and pollution.

“Many of the fisherman realise that their fisheries are no longer sustainable and are ready to embrace a new economic model. We hope to implement this through industries which support conserving the ocean, rather than exploiting it.”

The group’s Marine Conservation Masterplan, a five-year strategy that they have developed to support and assist Vizhinjam as it transitions toward a more sustainable future, is the first step in turning the communities dream for a brighter future into a reality. The establishment of their full-time Marine Conservation Centre at Kovalam Beach will also assist in this transition.

Through the facility, Positive Change for Marine Life has plans to engage the local community and initiate:

  • The development of a world-class waste management system for the region
  • A transition away from unsustainable fishing practices toward eco-tourism and other forms of environmentally conscious employment;
  • The rehabilitation of local rivers and waterways and
  • The elimination of single-use plastics through their Plastic Free for the Sea program, which will work in unison with local businesses and resorts.

To find out more about this inspiring project, initiated by a local Gold Coast based organisation get along to their event at Mandala and Co. on 22 October 2017.

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite and more information can be found on their Facebook page.

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