2013 Seacology Prize Ceremony, plus updates from the Philippines & Fiji
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Seacology Updates - October 2013

Marie Saleem awarded 2013 Seacology Prize

Last Thursday night, Seacology awarded its 21st Seacology Prize to Marie Saleem, a marine conservation crusader from the Maldives. Over 140 people attended the event held at the David Brower Center in downtown Berkeley.

In her acceptance speech, Marie spoke of the wide variety of ways she has helped protect the marine ecosystems in her home country, either by influencing environmental policy or doing hands-on conservation work. Her study of declining shark populations in the Maldives led to a nation-wide ban on shark fishing and the trade of shark products beginning in 2010. She also was instrumental in gaining special protection measures for several shark and manta species under the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species.

Marie is also involved in reef restoration projects, sea turtles rehabilitation, youth education programs, and improving waste management. She and her husband founded an environmental consultancy through which they run “marine discovery centers” for Four Seasons resorts in the Maldives. (For more info, watch the short video we produced about Marie Saleem.)

Winners of the Seacology Prize receive $10,000, a gift underwritten by Seacology’s President Ken Murdock (pictured above, right) in honor of his mother Lalovi Fish Murdock.


Mangrove boardwalk in Philippines nearly complete

A new 800-meter boardwalk through a mangrove forest on Bohol Island, Philippines is nearly complete. Once finished, it will help the village of San Vicente protect not only their forest, but surrounding fishing areas as well.

By funding this boardwalk project, we’re helping San Vicente continue a conservation effort that began in 1999 after a report showed that fish traps and deforestation within the mangrove forest were impeding the mangroves’ role as a “nursery” for fish species that are eventually caught in nearby traditional fishing grounds. The village raised funds to build a bamboo boardwalk and an information center to facilitate ecotourism and conservationism, but since then, the bamboo structure has degraded, and so San Vicente needed a new boardwalk.

In exchange for Seacology’s support of the boardwalk project, the community is committing to the protection of 56.25 hectares (139 acres)mangroves for at least another 12 years.


Seacology in X-Ray Magazine

The September issue of X-Ray, the world's top online scuba magazine, features a story co-written by our Executive Director Duane Silverstein and field rep Ferdie Marcelo (pdf) about the Philippines’ Tubbataha Reef, where a ship smuggling 2,870 illegally poached pangolins ran aground earlier this year.


Seacology Travel

Balloons over Bagan
French Polynesia
June 4 - June 13, 2014
Visit two of the most picturesque islands in the South Pacific (Moorea and Rangiroa) and attend the inauguration of the Kimo Campbell Dormitory at the Atitia Cultural Center. View the trip brochure (pdf) for more information.  

Balloons over Bagan
July 25 - Aug 3, 2013
Join Seacology for an eco-safari  in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Visit Seacology’s mangrove restoration project on Wasini Island. View the trip brochure (pdf) for more information. 

Vanua Levu


Mangrove restoration continued this month in Fiji’s Qumusea district, as schoolkids chipped in to help plant 6,000 new trees.

These mangroves will help prevent erosion, which can hurt nearby coral reefs, and provide protection from major storm surges.

But 6,000 trees is just the start: the plan is to plant a total 50,000 new mangrove trees over the next 20 years.

In exchange for mangrove restoration and preservation, we provided funds for a new kindergarten classroom.
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