Help the fishing and seafood gatherers community of the Itapicuru River estuary against oil spills!
This is a crowdfunding campaign to help the fishing and seafood gatherers community of the Itapicuru River estuary against the continuing contamination from a raw oil spill
that happened in the South Atlantic Ocean. Here in the northern shore of Bahia, Brazil, highly toxic oil patches are continuously reaching the shores and beaches(see here)
, and are also making their way into the estuary through the Itapicuru river. This is a real tragedy for the communities that are now unable to carry out their economic activities, which include fishing and seafood gathering and in lesser amount tourism. Their daily lives highly depend on a healthy estuarine and mangrove ecosystem. Oil spills keep coming into this well preserved estuarine and mangrove ecosystem, putting the whole ecosystem at risk, and making life impossible for these communities. They cannot eat or sell their fish or seafood anymore, and no tourists are coming anymore to visit the beaches contaminated by the toxic oil.
The Itapicuru River estuary is one of the best preserved ecosystems in the northern shore of Bahia and is home to endangered species such as the atlantic-goliath-grouper (Epinephelus itajara), the gray-breasted-parakeet (Pyrrhura griseipectus) and the yellow-breasted capuchin monkey (Sapajus xanthosternos). The communities that live in, and with, the estuary hold precious traditional knowledge about the ecosystem, its functions, fluctuations and species. Hence, they practice and hold knowledge on at least 12 different traditional fishing arts using a diversity of nets and pitfalls. A number of these arts show sustainable ways of fishing and seafood gathering with techniques that respect the ecosystem. They truly care about the healthiness of the estuary, since its healthiness is essential for their own daily survival!
It is therefore crucial to help these communities in their survival, and the conservation of the Itapicuru River estuary, in the face of this environmental disaster.Who are we?
We are a group of researchers from the Institute of Biology of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBa) and from the Mãos da Terra (IMATERRA) Institute, who work together with the Municipality of Conde, and with the fishing communities of the Itapicuru River estuary, for the creation of conservation units and an ecomuseum in this estuary. This is a conservation project that has been built with communities from the bottom up, talking to these communities continuously, and listening and acting upon their needs. As researchers involved in the lives of these communities, we must support them in the extremely difficult times they are living right now! We cannot sit back, we must act now!The campaign
This campaign has a goal of R$ 60,000.00 (sixty thousand Brazilian reais), amounting to 13,500.00 € (thirteen thousand and five hundred euros). These resources will be used to
1. Buy protective equipment (EPI) to collect oil on the beaches, reducing the risk that these fishing communities get contaminated.
2. Support families and communities that are unable to carry out their economic activities at this time.
o This support may be in the form of emergency food packages.
o Travel costs to participate in public hearings that are being held to determine the responsibilities and compensations for this pollution event.
How these resources will be used is being discussed with the communities so that they define with us what help is most urgently needed
Time is running out for these communities that are running out of food right now!
Therefore, we would very much like to thank you for your cooperation with this extremely important campaign for the survival of these communities and for the environmental conservation in the Itapicuru River estuary.
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