Conservation advocate Alexandra Cousteau, senior adviser to Oceana, is in town since August 29 and up to September 11 to promote awareness on sustainable fisheries management and the global fight against illegal fishing practices.
The grandchild of renowned undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau, Alexandra has closely followed in her father, Philippe, and grandfather’s footsteps and has been named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer for her films and advocacy on water issues.
She has been meeting with national and local political authorities, environment officials, representatives from the academe, the youth, and most importantly, local communities who are the front-liners in the campaign to save and protect the oceans.
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 series of talks has been lined up for Cousteau on 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 Jacques Cousteau explored in his boat ‘Calypso’ in the early 1990s. Alexandra will also be focusing on the impact of climate change and illegal fishing practices in El Nido’s coral reefs and the livelihoods of the residents.