Buoyed by two successive regional meetings of fisheries and government experts, Pacific Islands community leaders are hopeful their calls for support in meeting their food and income needs were finally heard.
The Conservation Society of Pohnpei (CSP) began the Elimoang (Pohnpei Mangrove Crab) campaign in June of last year; one of approximately 40 RARE campaigns that were being implemented worldwide in 2005-2006. The campaigns are designed to raise awareness and increase local engagement in the conservation of biologically diverse species and areas.
The surface of the water lay like a sheet of silver velvet smoothed out toward the horizon. Numerous small islands dot the vista, whispy palm fronds adding bits of greenery to the blue-gray panorama. The sheer size of the water area is impressive – Hinatuan Bay is like a small sea in itself, stretching some 360 square kilometers (roughly 140 square miles).
Gemma Gades is a mother and active leader of a local fisherfolk group protecting Hinatuan Bay. Located in the province of Surigao del Sur on the eastern side of Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, Hinatuan Bay is made up of small island ecosystems abundant with marine life.