Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When Good Help Harms

Interesting how Western aid intended to make life better for people can actually do harm. Mosquito netting was provided to improve health of a sea faring people in Africa, the Vezo. Turns out the Vezo are using the same netting to fish. Why is this bad?

“...those mosquito nets, if they’re used as fishing nets, are so, so fine that they lift all of the fish larvae and juvenile fish, as well as the larger fish people are trying to catch. So (they) stop those larvae from growing into future fish for people to catch,” according to Steve Watkins on

Watkins leads RARE, a nonprofit group working in 50 countries to get local communities to treat the seas with more respect and with an eye toward the future. Go Steve. Go RARE.

He goes on to make a case for Marine Protected Areas, an Eco Ocean favorite. Nice to hear a fresh description of MPAs:

“(It’s) an area of the ocean,” he says, “ that people that people agree to set aside to either fish less or not fish at all. So that the fish and other creatures that live in that area of the ocean can live out their life cycle. Grow big, have more children. In a sense become kind of a bank account, which accumulates interest in the sense of productivity of the environment. And it can really help to repopulate the more productive fishing grounds.”

Read more at this link: here.

Please note, apologies for the relatively drab postings of late. Google is having issues with Blogger, which means some bells and whistles are unavailable to bloggers including posting pictures.

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