Cocos Island is extreme. The diving is extreme, the distance from the continent is extreme, the people who come here are extreme and the effort of protecting her is extreme.
Our last patrol found 19 fishing boats poaching within the protected waters. As we approached the cluster with our small boat, they scattered. Seven went south while another twelve headed north. Their engines are powerful and we were left looking at the crime scene. We spent more than 17 hours pulling in the nets, attempting to salvage the lives of some of the caught animals and clear the waters of materials that would continue killing….
I wish the world could see what we are doing here. I wish everyone could understand that this scenario is unfortunate, but true. This is not a single event, but happens constantly out here at Cocos Island. Similar events are happening around the world.
Let’s do something to preserve the oceans, our oceans. There is not enough help coming from the government. It is painful not being able to do more, it is horrible to see how little by little the fishing line and buoys accumulate on the island, it is unfathomable to bear witness to the thousands of animals that are trapped by orphan hooks, within a supposedly protected sanctuary.
It hurts to see that man cannot live in harmony with nature by respecting the boundaries of a World Heritage Site, but living here and being part of the daily situation makes you love the island in an even deeper and inexplicable way.
By Regi Domingo
By Regi Domingo