Marine Megafauna Education
Dedicated to increasing local and global awareness about the wonders of our research subjects and the critical threats they face today, so that together we can protect their future.
Annually MMF scientists present over 150 talks to audiences of international and domestic visitors, schools, teachers, university students and government officials within Mozambique. Our lead scientists also fulfill nearly 20 annual lecturing requests at conferences and events around the globe.
MMF plays a key scientific advisory role to a range of independent and industry organisations. The Associaçao dos Mergulhadores Activos para os Recursos marinhos (AMAR) represents the SCUBA diving industry within Mozambique and for the past five years, our scientists have tailored specific presentations for university students on the annual Dia de Mergulhos. We are also actively involved in promoting vocational training schemes through local dive centres for people working in the marine tourism industry. In collaboration with Moz Images, we have produced educational videos and materials outlining the appropriate code of conduct to manage encounters with manta rays and whale sharks. These help dive centres to run more effectively and promote the importance of sustainable eco-tourism practices.
Nemos Pequenos (Little Nemos), MMF’s flagship education program aims to create a new generation of ocean guardians who have a compassionate understanding of their marine environment and are empowered to act towards its sustainable management and protection. This program educates communities through a child-centred approach that engages them with the ocean; builds the capacity of local people to deliver marine conservation and swimming education, and community outreach; nurtures local conservation action and equips local people with essential life skills that enable safe practice in and around the water. Year round, we facilitate integrated marine conservation and swimming lessons with regular beach clean ups and ocean expeditions for the local children, provide ongoing training for local instructors and give regular interactive presentations to local schools.
We continue to broaden our educational facilities on both a national and international scale. In February 2014, our first satellite Nemos Pequenos program began on the remote Bazaruto Island in conjunction with Pestana Bazaruto and the Tilizinwe community. We hope to extend the program’s reach to many communities along the length of Mozambique. Over the coming year, our little Nemos will connect with school children around the world, so that they can share their experiences and work together to generate change. We are also focusing our efforts on training the young Mozambicans monitor fishing practices along the coastline to increase their skill set and knowledge in and around the ocean.
MMF’s team are writing educational, marine focused materials tailored for schools and communities. These are currently being trialled in schools in Mozambique and Australia. Soon these will be available for national and international educational facilities alike. An exciting subset of these resources specifically focus around soon-to-be released film ‘Ocean Guardian’, produced by Moz Images and Bitonga Divers, a local Mozambican diving and conservation association. This collaboration focuses on increasing awareness about the key issues and action required within coastal communities and the commercial fishing industry. As part of this, we look forward to setting up a mobile cinema unit to help spread this important message throughout Mozambique.