Paddle For The Planet This World Environment Day

marine protected areas, marine conservation, pollution, acidification

Watermen and women from 52 countries will unite this World Environment Day to raise funds for the Daram Marine Reserve in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

Pull out your oars and go paddling this World Environment Day, June 5, 2011. Started by a crew of Dubai-based watermen distressed by the state of our oceans but determined to give back in a postive and meaningful way, Paddle for the Planet aims to help establish and support a patchwork of marine reserves across the globe. Plagued by overfishing, pollution, coral depletion, and rising acidification as a result of higher carbon concentrations in our atmosphere, our oceans need help. P4P makes marine conservation splashing fun. 

marine protected areas, marine conservation, pollution, overfishing, acidification

Water lovers in 52 countries will get together this weekend to raise awareness and funds for the Daram Marine reserve in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, the first such project to receive P4P support. Renowned conservation photographer and a P4P ambassador, Paul Hilton shared these images from a recent trip to the reserve.

After assisting Misool conservation to free a guitar ray, Leopard Oceanic Ray, Wobbygong and Bow Mouth Guitar Ray in the reserve, which is still threatened by illegal fishing activity, Hilton wrote in his blog:

marine protected areas, marine conservation, pollution, overfishing, acidification

A network of marine reserves with a “no-take policy” is the only way we are going to save our oceans, where everyone benefits including local fishing communities, tourists, dive operators and most of all, the creatures that live in and around these protected areas. Fisheries recover in just a few years, over flowing into other areas. Reefs regenerate, sea birds move back into areas that were once fished out.

Colombian Singer/Songwriter Fatiniza, who is based in Dubai, has also teamed up with P4P to raise awareness for the marine environment. Her song “Today” was chosen as the theme song for the event.

marine protected areas, marine conservation, pollution, overfishing, acidification

Fatiniza told the organizers, “My objective is complete. I wrote ‘Today’ specifically with awareness for the environment in mind, hoping that an organization could use it to reach out to the public and encourage them to take action today. I have planted my seed and I am so happy that I can help make a difference in the world through my music.”

In Dubai, the launch will take place at 8am on Saturday June 4th with hundreds of paddlers in surf skis, paddle boats and Dragon boats scheduled to head out from the Jumeirah beach Hotel, Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah. Fatiniza will also perform the theme song at the Dubai event..

For more information or to find a P4P team in your area, visit http://www.paddlefortheplanet.org.

all images courtesy Paul Hilton

More on Marine Conservation throughout the Middle East:

A Day in the Life of a Marine Biologist: Interview

Must it be The End of the Line for Fish?

Hope Amidst Dubai’s Marine Destruction

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