I remember the time that I’d switch only to four channels growing up – Cartoon Network, Nikolodeon, National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. Twenty years later I’m still switching channels between National Geographic and Discovery Channel, whoever has the better show at a particular timeslot.
I’ve always loved nature and wildlife, and I’m very passionate about it. I remember that I was watching an illegal ivory trade documentary which really ignited my passion for wildlife conservation. That’s when I logged-in to the World Wildlife Fund and became an ‘online warrior’, I participated in sending a photo of myself to be part of the largest Tiger Photo Mosaic that was unveiled at the Hague. Check it here
I would read about conservation efforts throughout the years, and me being a heavy smoker before, I feel guilty now that I contribute in the waste pollution of the world. And so now that I’ve stopped tobacco, I want to be able to be part of the solution, and now that WWF has really developed worldwide, I can start with my home country, the Philippines.
Originally I wanted to study Marine Biology in college, I imagined that my dream job would be to swim everyday with my animal spirit – Dolphins. But then considering that I am not a ‘numbers’ guy, and the expense of studying would be steep. I thought that the alternative was to write about conservation and be a voice for it – and believe me, I have a natural talent of being a voice, for being so noisy in class.
The Philippines has one of the most diverse marine life system in the world and sadly this is being exploited too much by overfishing, dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing, and a lot more unethical ways to fish our seas, but all of these leads to the destruction of the system and most would blame the fishermen, but there is a deeper reason to it why they do it and we should pity them more rather than hate them because they have reason.
- Survival – Even if the Philippines is an archipelago surrounded by water, fishermen are the poorest among Filipinos and their being dependent in the waters grows more desperately.
- Lack of Education – Fishermen who use illegal tactics to fish do not know the future and lasting damages that their fishing method do. They do not know that corals take decades to recover and centuries to grow, they do not know that they should have a certain size for the holes of their nets so that the juvenile fish can escape and mature and procreate – These may look basic to an educated man, but put yourself in their shoes, what they know is the more fish they get, the more profit.
- Lack of Opportunities – One of the reason of overfishing is that there is a lack of opportunity given to provinces in land labor, that’s why a lot turn to the sea.
Read WWF-PH’s 2016-2017 Annual Report here
If you’ll ask me, Marine Conservation is most important for me because we have the abundance to be a real powerhouse in Marine Life, that’s why poachers go here because of our rich waters, the sad thing about is that we can’t protect it because of the lack of presence of coastal defense, but what’s worse is that if we don’t conserve what’s left.
It’s high time that we turn the tide in favor of us, Filipinos, to conserve and protect our own waters, not only for the Philippines, but conserve and protect it for the rest of the world. It is our moral duty to be stewards of the natural resources that we have.
YOU! I am inviting you to come with me, to experience the struggle, to carry this burden, to join another bumpy journey with me by pledging to set up a monthly donation to WWF-Philippines to sustain their tireless efforts.
Click this to get started: Donate To WWF-Philippines Now
I hope you’ll join me in this journey for a sustainable world. Cheers!
Note: Featured Photo of article: Credits to Gregg Yan