OCEAN conservation advocate Alexan-dra Cousteau, senior adviser to Oceana, is visiting the Philippines from August 29 to September 11 to pro-mote awareness of sustainable fisheries ma-nagement and the global fight against illegal fishing practices.
The grandchild of renowned undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, Alexandra has closely followed in the footsteps of her father, Philippe, and grandfather Jacques and has been named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for her films and advocacy on water issues.
During her visit, she will meet with national and local political authorities, environment officials, representatives from the academe, the youth, and most importantly, local communities that are the front-liners in the campaign to save and protect the oceans.
The ocean conservation organization, which was founded in 2001 by a consortium of philanthropist groups including the Pew Charitable Trusts, Oak Foundation, Marisla Foundation (formerly Homeland Foundation), and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, previously issued a statement in support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s call in his State of the Nation Address to fight illegal fishing in the Philippines.
Cousteau will be exploring the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, the country’s largest marine protected area, where Oceana is working to end illegal commercial fishing and ensure that artisanal fishers will benefit the most from their municipal waters.
She will be diving in Moalboal in Cebu, where the year-round presence of sardine shoals is one of the top attractions in the thriving tourism industry.
In Apo Island in Negros Oriental, she is expected to interact with community leaders, whose strong partnership with the government, private sector, and civil society in protecting their rich marine resources has become a sterling model for protected areas.
A much sought after speaker, Cousteau will talk about Oceana’s global campaign, “Save the Oceans, Feed the World,” at the Silliman University in Dumaguete, and at the University of Cebu Banilad Campus in Cebu City.
One of the highlights of her visit is a diving trip to El Nido in Palawan, which her grandfather Jacques Cousteau explored in his boat ‘Calypso’ in the early 1990s. Alexandra will also look at the impact of climate change and illegal fishing practices in El Nido’s coral reefs and the livelihoods of the residents.