In March 2016 I had the opportunity to work with the Marine Megafauna Foundation in Mozambique, a non-profit dedicated to preserving the megaspecies of the sea. MMF specializes in monitoring whale shark, manta rays, humpback whales and sea turtles population sizes and their sightings off the coast of Inhambane, Mozambique. Unfortunately, over the course of the last thirteen years there has been a 90% decrease in sightings. The greatest threats to these incredible animals being overfishing, poaching due to demand by Chinese medicine, coastline development, and ocean warming due to climate change leading to change in feeding habits.
The Marine Megafuana Foundation's reach extends greater lengths beyond the leagues of the sea. They partner with local community leaders to teach fishermen how to sustainably fish yet still provide for themselves and their family. They host swimming and education lessons to the local community, taking children as far as the national games to compete. Their education program, Nemos Pequenos, since it's inception in 2012 has taught over 250 children how to swim and 100 children about marine conservation and sustainability. In classrooms across the province, they teach children the importance of the ocean waters to the success of their communities, and the importance of implementing sustainable solutions for generations to come. They teach the importance of ecotourism to a developing economy. And they taught me that the most full my life can feel is when I am offering the best gift that I can, collaborating with people interested in fostering and harboring life, and seeking solutions to create a greater, more sustainable world. I discovered until then, my life was only half.
Follow the Marine Megafauna Foundation to stay tuned to the progress of their efforts and be aware of your own heart to discover what may make your life full.