Help Seacology save parrotfish around Providencia Island, Colombia, home of some of the last healthy coral reefs in the Caribbean! Without parrotfish to keep them clean, coral reefs are smothered by algae and die.
Our goal is a total ban on catching parrotfish in the waters around the Island. But a ban is impossible without community support—so we’re funding a campaign that will reach everyone on the island. It includes a video for fishermen, radio broadcasts, education for schoolchildren, and plaques for restaurants that take parrotfish off the menu. We’ll be working with the Providencia fishing community, the regional government agency Coralina, and local NGO Fundación Providence. More details are on Seacology's website. Our campaign runs through Friday, June 22.
Parrotfish, named for their beaklike mouths, are herbivorous fishes found in warm oceans around the world. These colorful fish are not only a favorite sight for divers and snorkelers, but also play an essential role in keeping coral reefs healthy. Coral reefs are vital but fragile ecosystems, under threat globally from overfishing, climate change, pollution, and other human activity. Parrotfish eat macroalgae, which, if left unchecked, smother coral and ultimately kill a reef.
Our project aims to educate the fishing community and other island residents that a ban on catching parrotfish is in everyone’s long-term interest—because healthier reefs will lead to healthier fisheries.
Providencia and the neighboring island of Santa Catalina are part of Colombia, but lie hundreds of miles north of the mainland in the western Caribbean, near Nicaragua. The reefs around these islands are some of the healthiest in the Caribbean, thanks in large part to their isolation. Most of the island’s approximately 5,000 residents make their livelihood through fishing, farming, and a modest tourism industry.
Declining stocks of larger fish like snapper, and the relative ease of catching parrotfish in shallow water, have led to more people to target parrotfish around Providencia.
One of the local fishing cooperatives already refuses to buy parrotfish, but there is still an underground market for them, and filleted parrotfish are often sold as other species. Conservationists have seen the parrotfish numbers go down.
Providencia’s coral reefs are home to several species of parrotfish rarely found in the Caribbean. This project will protect these threatened populations, as well as the more common stoplight parrotfish.
What's in it for YOU?
All donors who give $25 or more will be listed in Seacology’s newsletter and on our website. We’re also offering the following gifts to donors:
$25 Thank you card and Seacology pin
$50 Photo print of the beautiful blue parrotfish
$100 Seacology reusable steel water bottle
$250 Seacology t-shirt
$500 Seacology t-shirt and tote bag
$1000 VIP package containing Seacology merchandise and an item from a Seacology project site as well as a t-shirt, water bottle, and bag
$2,500 Become a Seacology Fellow—get early access to the annual Seacology Prize ceremony and travel opportunities, VIP gift bag with above items
$10,000 Trip to Providencia accompanied by a member of the Seacology staff to see the parrotfish campaign in action.*
We protect island habitats and assist local communities by offering villages a unique deal: if they agree to create a forest or marine reserve, we’ll provide funds for something the village needs, like a school or health clinic. Since 1991, we’ve launched 298 projects, working with villages on islands in 60 countries, helping to protect approximately 1.3 million acres of some of the world’s most vulnerable ecosystems.
Seacology is grateful for the endorsement of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for this campaign.
* includes four nights accommodation for one at the Deep Blue Hotel, three days of snorkeling or diving and round trip business class airfare from the continental U.S. to Isla Providenica. The retail value of this trip is $2,915 which is not tax deductible. The trip must be taken by April 22, 2019. Contact us for further details.