Conservation and Environment in Cambodia: Monthly Updates
Cambodia Marine Conservation Project – October 2012
This month we completed 28 seahorse population assessment surveys. All our new arrivals were trained in seahorse identification and survey methodology. Teaching English continued, as did the work on the community playground. We also begun to research and implement a combined hydroponic and aquaculture system for the project site. Two students from the Royal University of Agriculture Phnom Penh also visited us to assess the feasibility of more aquaculture systems in the village.
Volunteers have been trained in seahorse identification and survey methodology. We have completed 28 seahorse surveys throughout the month, adding to our existing database, allowing us to monitor seahorse populations, as well as determine territories, partnering and breeding patterns.
Windy season has pushed us around to the island to explore new dive sites and previous as well as potential seahorse habitats. We aim to also conduct seahorse surveys around this area in order to determine the effects of illegal fishing over time and possibly compare this to the Corral.
The windy season always brings more rubbish onto the beach but the volunteers have been dedicated to keeping Longbeach clean. We all cleaned the beach in front of the bungalows with the help of the Khmer staff when a big storm brought in a lot more rubbish than usual.
Less rain throughout the month has brought the classroom outside, with kids painting the school, (and faces), using their English to identify objects outside of the classroom, as well as putting these things into sentences. Origami class saw the kids teaching the volunteers a thing or two! More structured classes have helped the kids and made them more dedicated in coming to the bungalow each day for school.
The seemingly endless task of levelling the playground is being completed slowly but surely. The framework for the roof has been put in place. We aim to have this in place before completing the levelling and filling in the sand in order to stop the wind and rain from washing away the foundations.
Hydroponic and Aquaculture System
This month we started working on a hydroponic and aquaculture system as a way of growing our own vegetables and fish for the project. We hope to perfect this system and then work on various ponds throughout the village. By cleaning these areas and educating the village we hope to encourage fish populations and thereby sustain the village while protecting the marine area around the island. Two students from the Royal University of Agriculture visited the project to assess the feasibility of the project within the village and we look forward to working with them in the future to create the most suitable method possible.
This month our volunteers got to go to Preah Sway Koh Rong as part of a religious festival. Generous donations were made by the volunteers, we shared a meal together and enjoyed the party! This special event shared with the Khmer people brought the volunteers closer with the village.
Project Coordinator, Cambodia