Fish Reef Project speaks at the United Nations

Fish Reef Project speaks at the United Nations on the coming deep sea mining and its impacts.
Transcribed Speech:

“December 8th, 2021

Thank you Mr. President.

Esteemed members of the council, observers, contractors and delegates. After participating as a formal observer to the International United Nations International Sea Bed Authority now for nearly a full decade, Fish Reef Project remains steadfast in its determination to assist in the formation of code and policy that helps ensure that both the ocean and the common heritage of mankind are made whole as a function of the coming deep sea mining.

The ISA finds itself in an interesting predicament. On one hand they must manage the extraction of the very minerals that can reduce mankind’s carbon footprint. On the other hand the aggressive stance of certain NGOs to halt deep sea mining makes it almost impossible to reach a consensus.

One key step forward, that Fish Reef Project has worked to secure is the inclusion in the code of a stipulation that requires mitigation for social and environmental impacts. This term if properly met, is one means to compensate the ocean and the common heritage while helping create consensus. Fish Reef Project has for many years championed the notion that it is an appropriate means of mitigation to build-up the near coastal reef systems of developing nations. By building new reefs, it creates a permanent, measurable, indelible means of increasing ocean health, food and job security for millions of small scale fishermen. By making new reefs, compensation is paid to millions who face food insecurity and to the ocean itself. This mechanism ensures that real compensation reaches the working poor who otherwise will summarily be passed over when meager cash royalties are simply paid to governments and stipends to NGOS. Overlaying the project with the well regarded Blue Credit® system furthers offers a guarantee to all parties that the new reefs will perform as promised.

A case in point is Fish Reef Project’s iconic initiative, the Great African Food Reef. This big picture project has been firmly embraced by the African Union and a number African nations as a primary means to enhance food and job security, and now as covid recouperation. The new African reefs help ensure domestic food production as a fail safe against future pandemics that could again cripple food logistics causing hunger and strife.

The new reefs also serve to create a massive new form of Blue Carbon and methane sequestration that can sink millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide direct for the sea water and thus help buffer ocean acidification.

If deep sea mining truly seeks to mitigate its impact, the very best means to do so is to greatly bolster the financial means of those working on the Great African Food reef and similar projects in small island developing states and rest of the developing world.

One lesson that extractive industries have failed to learn, at their peril, is they offer too little, too late- they avoid making ample positive impacts typically until ecosystem collapse occurs or civil unrest takes hold. The key is to act in advance of creating the impact and that time is now upon us.

Hence, we offer gentle caution and fair warning to deep sea mining interests, do not wait to begin to restore our ocean, do not wait to build new reefs and create jobs and food security. Learn from the past failures of the extractive industry. Begin to fund projects now that will lead to a healthier ocean in the years to come. This allows marine life to already be thriving and there for everyone to see by the time deep sea mining commences. This allows people to make the link that deep sea mining, if done correctly can in some way be a force for good, a force that chooses of its own accord to properly compensates the actual full spectrum of common heritage of mankind in ways that are socially just, measurable, accountable, permanent and free from corruption.

Thank you President”

Chris Goldblatt,
Fish Reef Project Executive Director

SCUBA Scholarship Goes To Maisy Lus of PNG

We are very honored to have sponsored Maisy Lus for her Women’s Diver Hall of Fame SCUBA Scholarship. We are so proud of Maisy! She has gained new skills and is now able to access and study the Fish Reefs in Papua New Guinea, that she had a hand in building and managing.

Diving Course

I successfully completed the PADI Open Water Dive Course on May 7th, 2021 and the PADI Advanced Open Water Dive Course on the 26th of June, 2021. I am now certified as an Advanced Open Water Diver – all thanks to the amazing Dive Instructors at Pro Dive PNG, John Miller, Keiko Nakaura, Norbert Rehlis and Thomas Rei. Pro Dive PNG, formally known as “The Dive Center,” is one of the oldest and most prominent diver training facility in PNG.

Women Divers Hall of Fame

Background Information Dedicated to recognizing and honoring the contributions of women divers, the Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) is an international, non-profit, professional honor society whose member contributions span a wide variety of fields including: The Arts, Science, Medicine, Exploration &technology, Underwater Archaeology, Business, Media, Training & Education, Safety, Commercial & Military Diving, Free Diving, and Underwater sports. WDHOF was created in 1999 and incorporated in 2001 by six founding sponsors: Beneath the Sea, Inc; the Underwater Society of America; the Women’s Scuba Association; Women Underwater; Hilary Viders, Ph.D; and Capt. Kathy A. Weydig. WDHOF, Inc. was granted its 501(c)(3) status in 2002.

WDHOF’s two-part mission is to:

1. To recognize women divers who have made outstanding contributions to the exploration, understanding, safety and enjoyment of our underwater world and

2. Support the underwater world and its associate careers by promoting opportunities for women and men in diving through scholarships, training grants and mentorship opportunities and a worldwide network of industry contacts.

Each year, WDHOF awards scholarships and training grants that provide financial and educational support to individuals of all ages, particularly those who are preparing for professional careers that involve diving. I was selected as the 2021 recipient of the Basic Dive Training Grant, sponsored by WDHOF Member, Patti Gross. I was selected alongside 47 individuals who are passionate about water planet and looking to grow their knowledge and skills. https://www.wdhof.org/scholarship-recipient/maisy-lus