This is shaping up to be a big year for OceansWatch as we make progress on our goal of “Saving the Ocean – one reef at a time."
It is thanks to the sponsorship of UAEs bid to host the World Expo in 2020 that Magic Roundabout is on her way to the Pacific with Helen Beswick, Carla Deane, Andy Clarkson and Shannon Hurley.
With a number of years of experience now behind us, OceansWatch is preparing a new strategy which will include a series of speaking engagements with major yacht clubs and marine organisations next summer, and an active push for new members and better funding to enable us to broaden the scope of what we do.
This will be accompanied by a drive for positive publicity for OceansWatch and its activities in newspapers, boating magazines and on radio. We hope to be an exhibitor at the big Auckland boat show in September, and to seek corporate sponsorship and funding for specific projects.
We are stepping up the campaign to have yachtsmen lend us a yacht over winter, as a prelude to examining ways of funding the purchase/construction of a yacht of our own – a James Wharram catamaran would be the ideal yacht for the task.
Shannon and Carla trial a sea pen for the sea cucumber mariculture project in the Solomon Islands.
An early priority is a re-vamp of our website and a better flow of information to our supporters.
In particular we need to explain the linkage between our primary goal of safeguarding coral reefs, fish stocks and the marine environment generally and helping to build sustainable communities on shore. Coastal villages receiving practical assistance towards sustainable living are more motivated to work with OceansWatch to monitor their reefs, provide us with data and maintain fish-free zones once established. This clarifies the benefit of providing them with medical supplies, educational material, and practical assistance in establishing safe water supplies.
These were some of the decisions made by the Oceans Watch Board of Trustees, meeting over several days at Matapouri and Auckland.
FUNDING NEEDED RIGHT NOW
OceansWatch has always been limited by a lack of funds - if we had more money, we could do more, involve more people and achieve more.
Hence we’re making a serious and heartfelt call to all supporters to put your hand in your pocket right now and support us by purchasing an OceansWatch sticker or an OceansWatch peaked cap. Not only will this give us great publicity if thousands of supporters display these items, the money raised will ensure we can complete this winter’s programme and begin the campaign outlined above.
• The versatile sticker can be used in many ways – as a bumper sticker, on a boat, a briefcase or a computer. It has a 90mm diameter and a self adhesive backing - $10.
• The blue peaked cap – invaluable at the beach or on a boat, comes with an adjustable strap so that “one size fits all” and has “OceansWatch” embroidered across the front – guaranteed to start many a conversation and help spread the word - $30.
Please take the time to support this offer – it really will make a difference if our supporters act right now and order one or both of the items on offer. Details on how to order at the end of the newsletter
It is that time of year when all our volunteers are working like crazy to get the last minute things ready for the departure of the two OceansWatch vessels which will be working in the Pacific during the New Zealand winter.
This is Amick Houssaune filling boxes with first aid supplies for the communities that we will visit. Thanks to Medical aid abroad for donating the supplies for these and to Circa Marine (builders of Dashew yachts) for making the boxes. We are still looking for yachts heading from Opua to Port Vila to help deliver these boxes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
On Wednesday Magic Roundabout left Opua bound for Vanuatu. On board are Shannon Carla , two young graduates heading off for a life- changing experience as they work with communities in these remote islands to help them manage their dwindling fish resources. We have recently been well treated by Customs who have granted us an extension of the length of time Magic Roundabout can stay in New Zealand.
Glenn Edney’s catamaran Cat Knapp is due to leave Opua for the Pacific any day now. On board, besides Glenn, will be Shelly Feduniw and Amick and other crew we are recruiting now. Cat Knapp is also bound for Vanuatu,
where she will rendezvous with Magic Roundabout for a two week training schedule. The training will cover Reef Check – a coral reef monitoring method, and Glenn will be training trainers in our Reef Guardian programme. This training will take part on Espiritu Santo. Following this, Magic Roundabout will head up to the Solomon Islands leaving Cat Knapp to continue to work in Vanuatu. OceansWatch is in the process of recruiting a marine biologist to assist with this work and to oversee a sea cucumber mariculture project. Sea cucumbers have been seriously depleted in the Solomon Islands due to the high demand from Asia. Increasing their numbers will improve the marine ecosystem and if well managed could provide a future income. Both yachts are expected to be back in New Zealand by December and we will keep you informed about their progress.
As awareness of OceansWatch and its activities grows, more and more cruising yachts are offering to deliver materials up to the Islands for us, which is fantastic. We are working on some ideas to capitalise on this better.