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Sustainable fishing in Polynesia

A project by: Ben Cresswell


WE RAISED £2,051

from 4 donors

This project received donations on Fri 31 Mar 2017
A photojournalist report on conservation through sport fishing on a small Polynesian atoll.


For huge numbers of people in coastal communities worldwide, fish and seafood are the biggest contributors in terms of diets and jobs.  But many people live in tiny social groups on remote islands and atolls where fishing cannot and does not contribute to economic prosperity and a lack of understanding of fisheries makes these resources vulnerable.

The Island Initiative is bringing alternative options to the islanders of Anaa Atoll in French Polynesia.  If successful, it could prove a model for similar communities across the Pacific.

So where is anaa..?

The atoll of Anaa likes roughly in the middle of the South Pacific, over 7000km away from Australia and South America and over 400km away from its Capital, Papeete (pronounced "Papa-yaytee") located on the island of Tahiti.  In the middle of the ocean...

Map data (C) 2017 Google


My name is Ben, and I'm an MSc student on the Tropical Marine Biology course at Essex.  My interest in this project stems from my work on Tropical Marine Resources as part of my studies, in which we examine how different marine resources (not just fishes!) are utilised across the global tropics.


The Island Initiative is now in its 2nd year of operation and I am heading out to Anaa to document the successes, challenges and horizons for this promising work.  I will be producing an academic report for my faculty as well as a range of other photographic/journalism products (see the rewards section!

In addition I will be getting involved in the nitty-gritty of the project, specifically in the tagging programme for the annual fish migration.  Bonefish (Albula spp) have a migratory lifestyle known as diadromy.  This means they migrate in and out of their feeding grounds in order to spawn.  This is a critical time for these organisms and during their migration they are particularly vulnerable.

The project will be looking to tag and monitor fish during this period in order to gain a better understanding of their migratory habits.  This should have knock on benefits both in terms of the subsistence fishery (food!) as well as the sport fishery (tourism = jobs!).


I'm looking to raise funding to get out to Anaa, contribute to the project and produce a quality report for my Tropical Marine Resources module.  Costs are going to include:

1.  Travel costs: international flights, £1000+ to get to Tahiti and £300 internally to get to Anaa.

2.  Photography equipment: I already have some of the equipment I need to document the project properly, but to produce the professional quality reports (and rewards!) I need your help!  Extra gear: £500.

3.  Insurance - boring but essential! £200.


Check out the rewards section for some cool rewards in return for donations!!

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