Public education and awareness is a major component of C-FISH and involves a number of activities and approaches aimed at getting information accross to various target audiences in the most effective way possible. The key messages that we want include:
- The problems of overfishing, climate change and pollution
- The social, economic and ecological benefits generated by successful fish sanctuaries
- How individuals and businesses can participate
- The location and regulations of exisiting fish sanctuaries and fisheries management
Although improving the awareness of those who most directly benefit from the sanctuaries – such as fisherfolk and surrounding communities – is of the utmost importance and goes a long way toward achieving compliance, it is also important to target government officials, policy-makers, members of the private sector and the younger generation.
It is important that everyone knows of the success stories currently happening in sanctuaries, including the positive data being collected both on fish biomass and on the communities that surround the sanctuaries.
Photos: Fisher being interviewed for documentary footage (header, S. Lee); Fisher receives gear and equipment as part of the C-FISH funded activities for Environmental Awareness Week on Pedro Cays, Jamaica (above right, JET); Screenshot of fish sanctuaries documentary, using eye catching graphics to describe the 'spill-over' effect to viewers (above left, CARIBSAVE).
C-FISH activities under the Public Awareness component include:
Developed this interactive website
Developed a number of video-related outputs including "Caribbean Fish Sanctuaries","More Fish Please and Thanks", an animation for sea moss and documentary outlining our work in seamoss, and were involved in others such as a mooring restoration video for Carriacou, "Off the Hook" and "Sanctuary"
Supported and funded Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) to implement activities to improve awareness of enforcement personnel such as Coast Guard and Marine Police in Jamaica on fisheries laws, including those for fish sanctuaries. JET also implemented activities for Environmental Awareness Week on Pedro Cays, Jamaica.
- Developed three (3) informative posters for distribution on (i) Marine Managed Areas (ii) Offshore Fishing and (iii) Tourism
- Partnered with Sandals Foundation and the Guy Harvey Oceans Foundation to develop and implement the Save Our Seas School Marine Program, aimed at increasing the awareness of school children on (i) marine mammals (ii) coral reef (iii) sea turtles and (iv) coastal ecosystems and climate change.
- Indirectly, C-FISH activities have also supported school sanctuary tours, paritcularly in the Galleon St Elizabeth fish sanctuary (Jamaica) which uses the C-FISH funded boat to conduct these tours.
The C-FISH Team also helped to spread awareness about the challenges being faced, the project and the success stories through attendance at key meetings or conferences including:
- OECS/USAID Climate Change Seminar Series (2013)
- COP19, Warsaw (2013)
- SPAW/IUCN/UNEP/CAMPAM Workshop on MPA resilience to climate change (2013)
- ICCS 3 Climate Services Partnership (2013)
- CDEMA Conference (2013)
- Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) conferences in 2013 including production of posters on CLIF Monitoring, the use of aritficial reefs in protected areas, and livelihood diversification in Carriacou. The C-FISH project also supported two MPA stakeholders from the Caribbean to attend this conference.
- Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) conferences in 2014 including production of posters on community-based monitoring, social dimensions, and climate resilience. The C-FISH team also supported the attendance of four other MPA stakeholders, including two fishers to participat in the side event "A Regional Workshop on Marine Protected Areas as a Tool for Responsible Fisheries and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Caribbean."