Hilde Vanleeuwe, WCS Project-Director Conkouati Douli National Park has been filling us in on how your money is helping.
One of our main aims at the moment is to gradually introduce a more sustainable way of fishing for local people. After discussions with all the senior fishermen in the area it was decided that larger meshed nets and a new style of fishing was needed to allow the industry to become sustainable and support local people, fish populations and other sealife.
Current nets being used that have smaller mesh size as well as the “tapé tape” technique is a very destructive style of fishing. This technique drives small and juvenile fish out of the mangroves and has a real negative impact on fish populations.
Funds from Size of Wales supporters have bought many new nets. Swapping the smaller nets for the sustainable larger nets is a gradual process as while senior figures agreed to this change, gaining the trust of younger fishermen to hand over their old nets takes more time.
This project based in the Conkouati national park is mainly made up of rainforest but also includes a marine reserve. It may be the only park in the world where you can see humpback whales and dolphins as well as elephants and gorillas. As well as buying new fishing nets, donations to this project help local families develop sustainable livelihoods.