Why have Ocean Refresh and Love The Oceans decided to work together?
As we’re sure you’re aware, the coronavirus has impacted many lives, businesses and organisations in so many ways. During this tricky time, here at Ocean Refresh, we want to highlight some of the good news of amazing environmental movements that we love and support. We’re also giving away a pair of Ocean Refresh flip flops (head over to our Instagram page @oceanrefresh to enter the draw – T&C’s apply).
So… what is Love The Oceans?
Love the Oceans (LTO) is a non-profit marine conservation organisation working in Jangamo Bay, Mozambique since 2014. Jangamo, whilst home to a huge host of marine life, has never been studied in depth for any prolonged amount of time. LTO is working to protect and study the diverse marine life found here, including many species of sharks, rays and the famous humpback whales. We use research, education and diving to drive action towards a more sustainable future. Our ultimate goal is to establish a Marine Protected Area for the Inhambane Province in Mozambique, achieving higher biodiversity whilst protecting endangered species.
LTO does lots of different areas of research: ocean trash, coral reef surveys, humpback whales, megafauna and fisheries, as well as two community outreach projects, teaching marine conservation and swimming skills.
LTO came across Ocean Refresh when the team was on the hunt for sustainable flip flop brands (flip flops are very useful in Mozambique!) and they’ve fallen in love with the products. We’re running a give-away campaign on their Instagram @lovetheoceans where you can win yourself a pair of the amazing Ocean Refresh flip flops. Be sure to check it out!
So why is Love The Oceans different?
LTO believes in a community-led, holistic approach to conservation. Through comprehensive biodiversity and sustainability research, educational outreach and capacity-building community workshops in sustainable fishing, LTO aims to facilitate the transition from current unsustainable fishing practices and targeted elasmobranch fisheries towards sustainable fishing supplemented by alternative livelihoods.
The first step in any successful conservation effort is to understand the underlying cause of the issue. Through our comprehensive research LTO is collecting baseline data to understand and document pressing conservation issues across our research sites. We are monitoring the development of current conservation issues through our continuous research. The combination of solid baseline data and continuous sampling effort ensures the development of clear, achievable biodiversity targets and framework for the implementation of a successful community-led Marine Protected Area in the Inhambane Province.
The next integral step is to enable and empower our communities to solve the critical conservation and sustainability problems that are negatively impacting their livelihoods. At LTO the core of our community-led conservation approach is our Educational Outreach: We work with active fishermen running workshops on sustainable fishing and educate the next generation of fishermen by teaching Marine Resource Management and Sea Safety at two local schools. Equipped with the right tools and knowledge our communities are empowered to successfully transition towards sustainable fishing, ending shark fishing and establishing a Marine Protected Area with a long-term, sustainable outcome beneficial for both ecosystems and communities.
The final step in LTO’s community-led conservation approach is to develop and implement alternative sources of food and income through our Sustainable Livelihoods and Ocean Conservation Champion Programs. Ecotourism is a major industry currently generating an estimated US$10.9 million in direct revenue to dive operators in the Inhambane Province annually, and with a direct economic impact of US$34.0 million annually. Sustainable ecotourism and other alternative sources of income can ensure both sustainable livelihoods for the local communities and the protection of vulnerable ecosystems and species.
Through our Research, Educational Outreach and Community Outreach Programs LTO is taking a holistic, community-led approach to conservation leading the sustainable development towards the end goal of establishing a Marine Protected Area through a community-led, bottom-up approach.
Want more info?
If you want to read more about Love The Oceans or get involved in their work, you can check out their website lovetheoceans.org, and keep up-to-date with their daily activities via their social media: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin (@lovetheoceans).