Open Ocean Artisan Fisherfolk

Morrocan fisherment sporting ONF t-shirts
Two views of the nutrient retaining reef model.

Moroccan fishermen are sporting ONF tee shirts, a gift from ONF for participating in a discussion of the difficulties they face in making a satisfactory living.

While Morocco has one of the world's largest fisheries, small fishing activities are struggling. Discussion have focused on the ONF concept of providing additional nutrients to the outer edge of the Moroccan upwelling zone. This will cause phytoplankton to grow and enhance the marine food chain.

The Ocean Nourishment Foundation has already conducted research in conjunction with INRH.

Nutrient Retaining Reefs

Coastal subsistence fishing families are catching much less fish for the same effort as their fathers. It is becoming impossible to support a family using traditional fishing methods. The coastal fish have become too sparse.

The ONF is supporting efforts to increase the fish stocks available to artisan fisherfolk. It is not enough to try and catch a bigger fraction of the fish. Stocks are needed to provide for the next generation. The solution is to produce more marine biomass to feed the poor.

Nutrients are needed for phytoplankton to grow and feed the next link in the marine food chain. The ONF is trialling in Fiji a novel design of artificial reef using local materials. It consists of 100 bamboo poles 2.4 metres in length. The poles are closely spaced near the sea bed to retain the nutrients excreted from the higher trophic fish. Small fish can enter the narrow bamboo sections while larger predators must shelter in the more open gaps between reef sections.

Nutrient retaining reef model Nutrient retaining reef model
Two views of the nutrient retaining reef model.
Nutrient retaining reef model
Yanuca Island fishermen building their own Nutrient Retaining Reef.