Yesterday I received an email from a reader alerting me to a very encouraging article in The New York Times.
Haitian Divers Hope to Aid Ailing Reef, by Brent McDonald, September 1, 2011
Most of us don’t associate Haiti with diving and snorkeling, but Haiti was indeed an attractive dive destination several decades ago. It was once known for its abundant invertebrates, sponges and vibrant corals. Now, the picture is bleak. A large portion of Haiti’s once extensive coral reef system is dead, a skeleton of its former existence. And due to rampant overfishing, the reef is home to almost no fish.
An organization called Reef Check is taking action. It is training a team of volunteer Haitian eco-divers to survey, protect and hopefully prevent further destruction of Haiti’s fragile coral ecosystem. Their goal is to persuade the Haitian government to designate protected waters, where fishing will be off limits. But in a a country so desperately poverty stricken, where people fish to survive, this could prove a difficult task.
We wish Reef Check much success in Haiti and in its efforts to save reefs around the world.
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