Four marine conservation groups sign agreement to join forces

Fishing boats in Costa Rica.

For The Oceans Foundation, Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation, the Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation, and United Conservationists have signed a partnership agreement to join forces for five years to concentrate their focus on marine conservation.

The coalition of the four nonprofit non-governmental organization will work on initiatives and activities to combat illegal fishing and blunt the negative effects of climate change, while supporting species protection, scientific research for data-driven conservation, and environmental education programs.

“It is important that we all work together to make a difference to protect our planet. This one voice is more powerful [and] can make the difference we need for change. It just makes sense. This coalition is just the beginning, and we hope that more members will join us,” Fins Attached CEO Alex Antoniou said in a press release.

The group's actions will be focused in the Eastern Pacific region, including marine waters, coastal areas, and islands from the Central Pacific coast of the American continent, from the U.S. state of California through Mexico, Guatamala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.

“This coalition will raise awareness and create pathways that spark local solutions to scale global impact in support of healthy oceans and the communities that depend on them. This is exactly what Rob Stewart was working towards,” Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation Directors Brian and Sandy Stewart said.

The Fins Attached Marine Research and Conservation, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A., conducts research to preserve the marine environment and ecosystem by protecting the ocean’s apex predators.

The Rob Stewart Sharkwater Foundation is a Canada-based NGO committed towards protecting sharks and bringing awareness to the ocean and shark issues to better the ocean ecosystem.

For The Oceans Foundation is based in Costa Rica and has the aim of combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing as well as to promote responsible fishing and protection of marine wildlife to help conserve the biodiversity and well-being of the oceans.

The United Conservationists is an NGO based in Venice, California, U.S.A., that provides communities and people with communication and planning tools to protect local and global ecosystems.

"The combining of our strengths and experiences, and our passion for conservation,constitutes a promising sum of skills to achieve significant progress in the alarming situation of the ocean, which is the lifeline for the planet," Oceans Foundation CEO Jorge Serendero said.

The coalition will coordinate initiatives and activities focused towards topics, including helping local authorities control illegal fishing, recovering ghost nets that are dangerous towards migratory wildlife, and supporting research and scientific knowledge of the Eastern Pacific region.

"Each member of the group brings different strengths that aim to have profound impacts on ocean conservation, eventually leading to international policy changes for protection of the marine environment. Together, the coalition has the larger objectives to include development and organization of research, conservation, and communication projects, improve the knowledge of marine migratory species in protected areas, establish a working relationship to advance their missions, and broaden their knowledge base and commit to sharing the cause of conservation," the groups said. "The coalition believes to achieve these objectives, as well as an important component to success, is to establish a collaboration with governments and their agencies to create lasting changes that even local communities can benefit from."

Photo courtesy of Jorge A. Russell/Shutterstock


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