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sail-world.com -- Solomons Islanders get their first 'Marine Protected Area'

Solomons Islanders get their first 'Marine Protected Area'    
Wed, 12 Jun 2013

The work that New Zealander Chris Bone and his team at OceansWatch have been doing assisting South Pacific Islanders to cope with climate change effects and ocean pollution for the last few years is bearing rich fruit these days. The Solomon Isand's Provincial Goverment have agreed to register a Marine Protected Area on the remote Rennell Island. Rennell Island was the first Solomon Island community to request assistance from OceansWatch to help them manage their marine resources and they have finally achieved success. OceansWatch Solomon Island's director Willie Sau Kaitu'u reports: 'The Rennell Bellona provincial Executive agreed in their meeting today, to recognize the Marine Protected Area on Rennell Island.' Recognition goes to those who have contributed. Said Chris Bone, 'This was a result of a lot of hardwork by Willie, Derek Pongi and others on Rennell Island, especially Joseph and the Reef Guardians. To those of you such as Gardner, Alison, Cleo, Noelle, Bara, Joetta, Irene, Katherine and Emily who helped in the field a big thank you. As OceansWatch followers know we are a community driven organisation, here to serve people and their environment but it's also great to get our work recognised at higher levels too.' The second OceansWatch yacht for 2013 is now on its way to Vanuatu. Onboard Cat Knapp are Glenn Edney, the skipper and Shelly Feduniw and Amick Houssaune. They will be supporting communities in Northern Vanuatu to manage their marine resources. To help them with the trip Skye Briggs flew over from Austrailia. Skye is an experienced sailor and Marine Biologist who has been following OceansWatch for awhile and jumped at the chance for a sail and to get involved. The teams will be joined in Vanuatu by Paula Anton Codena from Andorra, a very well qualified marine biologist who will head up the Solomon Island marine team, and Jordon Smith-Newman from the US, a marine graduate who will join the Vanuatu team. Good luck with all your work, OceansWatch, the momentum is gathering! For more information about OceansWatch, click here?nid=110698.

by Nancy Knudsen



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