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. Ka Gemma and other women from Mahaba Island formed the community group “Ladies in United Movement Onward to Development” (LUMOT) to address pressing issues facing coastal resources, their primary source of income. Threats include intrusion of outside fishers using compressors and fine mesh nets, use of destructive scaring devises and poisons, clearing of mangrove forests for fishpond construction, siltation of seagrass beds from limestone quarrying, and algal overgrowth due to domestic wastes.
Location – Philippines
8° 45′ 17.262″ N, 124° 58′ 49.6884″ E