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Volunteering For Ocean Conservation Projects In Africa

By Harold Moore

Ocean conservation is the protection of the ocean and sea environment, namely from man intervened. The oceans and seas are vulnerable to the advancement of the human race. The ocean is also susceptible to manmade pollution. The fish and other water animals are susceptible to man's desire for food. Men also hunt fish and other water animals for sport thus harming the delicate water ecosystems. For many centuries, man has taken advantage of the oceans and seas, but there are some organizations that practice Ocean Conservation.

You can find whale sharks in warm and tropical oceans and live for around 70 years. Although they were thought to feed mainly on plankton, the BBC program Planet Earth caught a shark feeding on a school of small fish. Their anatomy has evolved to allow them to be very effective when they are feeding and their large mouths which can be up to 1.5 metres wide allow them to collect and filter their food.

Considering their size you would think whale sharks would pose some danger to humans, however, in reality, they are docile fish and are not violent. Some divers have even suggested that the juveniles can be playful while they are in the water with them. One area where the sighting of a whale shark is reasonably common is in the Maldives, where a large preservation project of the coral reef includes the monitoring of whale sharks.

The tuna industry is supposed to take the time and make an effort to check all catches and clear their nets of dolphins from their nets. But some tuna fishing boats ignore this requirement and allow dolphins to be processed with the tuna that is caught in their nets. It is difficult to regulate and monitor the tuna industry because there are limited resources available and not all tuna fishing boats can be watched as they make their catches.

The Great White Shark is endangered due to culling and the changing sea environment, and the program works to educate people about the importance of sharks and keeping the Great White Shark an important part of the sea eco-system. This is a true gap year adventure, including actually being able to dive with the sharks and thus learning more about them and their environment.

In the Maldives, the preservationists do not tag the sharks but instead use scientists and volunteers on preservation projects to track them by taking photos of the shark's gills. Interestingly, like a human's fingerprints, their gills are unique meaning that on a collection of photos and location data the scheme can track where the sharks have traveled - rather clever.

Many coastal towns and communities around the world still heavily rely on fishing as the main source of revenue, which unfortunately very often undermines sea ecosystems. Fishing fleets annually dredge areas of the sea floor twice the size of the United States. These actions cause damage to habitats that may take years, sometimes decades to recover.

Pollution unfortunately gets into the sea from many sources and can make swimmers unwell and obviously adversely impact the environment for marine life. Conservation work in this area usually focuses on educating locals about the effects of pollution and littering, as well as obviously some clean-up efforts to help prevent animals from ingesting elements accidentally, which can have fatal consequences.

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This post first appeared on 7bestmas, please read the originial post: here

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Volunteering For Ocean Conservation Projects In Africa


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