In Marine Conservation Exploration the purpose of this exploration is writing the proposal to Dom to get a year long Exploration about finding an alternative livelihood for fishermen. In this Exploration we had went to Kep to learn more about marine ecosystem. Here are some photo that I had did at Kep:
Oceans are really important for humans because they provide “food, transportation, recreation, tourism, and maintain the water cycle” (Ocean Health Index). The world population is increasing, so the demand for food is increasing. Currently, oceans have been destroyed little-by-little, because of “overfishing, coastal pollution, habitat destruction, warming, and acidification” (Huffpost Green, The Five Biggest Threats to Our Oceans). Coral and seagrass are important for all fish and invertebrates because those animals can use the coral and seagrass as a shelter or for their food.
In Cambodia, there are four provinces that have ocean coast (Sihanoukville, Kampot, Koh Kong and Kep). According to the Ocean Health Index, the overall rank of ocean health of Cambodia is 179 out of 221. For the bordering countries Vietnam is 170 out of 221, and Thailand is 47 out of 221. According to the Country Environment Profile by the European Union Delegation to Cambodia, healthy seagrass and healthy coral are decreasing. This seagrass and coral are decreasing because of the destruction from humans, like fishermen. Marine Conservation Cambodia (MCC) divers saw this destruction and reported, “High trawling activity was evidenced by broken coral, uprooted seagrass and sourced floors” (Kep Triangle Report, 2015). There are numbers of really unselective and unsustainable fishing practice in Cambodia.
Trawling is a highly destructive fishing technique impacts large areas of the seabed. This tool takes every living thing because it has a big net that touches the seabed. When the boat starts going, it collects everything that is touching the seabed. It disturbs the substrate and can cause silt to cover the coral and seagrass. The silt can block the sunlight and the coral and seagrass can not do photosynthesis.
Electrofishing is another illegal fishing technology and it is a more efficient way to kill the marine organisms. It shocks everything even baby fish and that can reduce populations of all species of fish in the Cambodian oceans.
If illegal fishermen have alternative livelihoods there will be less damage to the Cambodian oceans. According to the Kep Triangle Report, by MCC, surveys said that the biodiversity had increased since January, 2015 and some of the marine life had returned, such as, dolphins and dugongs, in the triangle islands. In the triangle (Koh Seh, Koh Mak Prang, Koh Angkrong), in Kep province, the healthy seagrass are increasing and the healthy corals are also improving in that area. Alternative livelihoods are needed for Cambodian fishermen.