September 16, 2016 – Press Release Blue Economy Challenge (BEC)
The Australian Foreign Minister announced on September 16th that the Climate Foundation, competing in a field of over 220 applicants, has won the Blue Economy Challenge and will be awarded a grant to work on restoring seaweed and fish in the Indian Ocean Region. The Climate Foundation, located in Woods Hole, is an international 501(c)3 organization focused on food security and carbon balance around the globe. The work will begin in Zanzibar, East Africa. As support is secured from other organizations, future locations in the Middle East or in India are planned. The plan is to restore ocean circulation that provides nutrients to the seaweed and to create habitat for forage fish such as sardines, anchovies and salmon. The plan also calls for restoring the fish population using a combination of reserves and TURF zones while ensuring that the fishermen can have exclusive access to their local regions and can manage the fish population effectively for maximum long-term productivity.
Because climate change has slowed overturning circulation in the ocean, there are fewer nutrients and warmer water, which in turn has detrimentally affected the seaweed industry in Zanzibar. The Zanzibar seaweed industry employs over 10,000 people. It is the Australian Government which both organized and funded the Blue Economy Challenge that will help the Climate Foundation help the people, the seaweed industry, the fish and the ocean.
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