On May 19th, The Marine Foundation will arrive In Belize to commence their first Living sculpture in the sea project out side of Indonesia; The Belize sea goddess designed by renowned sculptor Toin Adams and in close liaison with Celia Persephone Gregory, The Marine Foundation Founder will initiate the launch of a new underwater gallery.
The new underwater eco art program with be lift off during a series of activities with the Dangriga fisherfolk and community stakeholders, headed by Captain Norian Lamb engaging art for change – not only in awareness and education, but also directly on the restoration of coral reef habitats, fish stocks, and associated provision of livelihood. Connecting local communities with an international network to enable sustainable governance of our marine resources. It is fresh, commands attention, has amplification of effect, and is scaleable to the community.
Previously Apsara, inspired by the ancient Hindu spirits who are very beautiful and wonderful dancers was installed in the Jemeluk Bay Underwater Gallery In 2014. Three village communities with the help of Reef Check Indonesia and CORAL are working to establish effective marine management and become guardians to their coral gardens.
The artificial reefs (artworks) are positioned in carefully selected locations to ensure viability, including appropriate levels of buy-in from the stakeholders. They form the basis for establishing a marine garden sanctuary that is both an eco-tourism destination and an outstanding art attraction. The implementation of a community-led marine management strategy including no-take / replenishment zones around the artificial reef is at the heart of all projects.
The Oceans have been a vital source of renewable food since the birth of mankind, we depend on their health and well-being. Yet marine eco-systems all over the world are in rapid decline. The Marine Foundation’s approach is creative, innovative and positive enabling small scale but highly effective localised marine sustainability whilst engaging an international audience and galvanising people from a wide variety of sectors. We can be part of the solution and ensure a healthy ocean for all future generations.
About the Marine Foundation
Celia Persephone Gregory, Director, Founded The Marine Foundation in 2009. The Living Sculptures in the Sea programme now has 4 key installation sites in Indonesia. Two case studies are below. The projects have amply demonstrated that underwater eco art attractions are tourist destinations in themselves, generating revenue for the local community. They are also proven educational tools with visits from other fishing communities, schools, and universities. The sustainably managed areas have visibly led to more fish and greater coral cover in a healthier reef ecosystem.
Case Study 1: Pemuteran, Indonesia is a bay in NW Bali. Ten years ago their coral reef had been devastated by illegal fishing practices and bleaching. The local community embarked on an innovative artificial reef project and enforced fishing restrictions of zone and equipment.
In 2009, the Marine Foundation started to work with Karang Lestari, the local managing NGO to bring a new creative aspect to their artificial reef programme and so the Coral Goddess was conceived and installed. There are now over 60 artificial reef covered in coral. The surrounding coral garden benefits from being within the protection zone and the numbers of fish and species increase annually. 40 % of the tourists visiting the region came because of the restoration project.
Case Study 2: Jemeluk Bay Underwater Gallery is located in East Bali. Local reefs had suffered under the pressures of over-fishing, destructive fishing and development.
The Jemeluk and Bunutan Village community and associated fishermen groups approached Reef Check Indonesia to help establish protection measures and marine management strategy. The location fitted our criteria and together we established the Underwater Gallery.The first sculpture was the underwater post office created by Balinese sculptor Wayan Winten and installed in 2012, followed by the mermaid in 2013 sponsored by Body Shop Indonesia. In 2014, a grant from Pacific Asia Tourist Assoc. Foundation was used to commission renowned Indonesian sculptor Eddi Prabandono, Apsara was sunk later in the same year.
The process of integrating the complex weave of local stakeholders is moving forward.
The head of the fishermen community signed an agreement agreed by all fishermen to stop all fishing in the zone after hearing of the positive effects in Pemuteran. The installation of the sculptures was undertaken by the fisherman and enables Reef Check to galvanise local relationships. Within 18 months there was a noticeable increase in fish numbers and diversity and the destination is developing a reputation, drawing tourism from the condensed areas of the South.
Paul Foley, Head of Conservation, established and ran his own marine conservation consultancy based in SE Asia. Notable achievements include: establishing all the MPAs around the world famous Malapascua Island in the Philippines; uniting the Thai diving industry and creating the media campaign to successfully lobby for listing of the great white shark on Appendix II of CITES; establishing protected areas in the Myeik Archipelago, to get anti-shark finning law enacted in Myanmar; and shark’s fin removed from official banquets in the Beijing 2008 Olympics through the IUCN and IOC.
Toin Adams, Head of Concept, sculpting and marketing is a major international sculptor working in India, Portugal and England. With extensive experience on large scale installation incurring the 40 metre Green Man in The Custard Factory in Birmingham.
Brilliant at drawing and a whizz in photoshop, her capacity to represent complex concepts for clients is vital.
Louisa Harris – Core Creative Team joined the Marine Foundation in October 2014 as a model and free-diver for the sinking and filming of Apsara;Spirits of the Sea. Currently she is working with Grant Thornton UK’s Sustainability team and 6Heads sustainability collective.
Learn more at: http://www.themarinefoundation.org
Also take a look at the crowd funding campaign for The Belize Sea Goddess at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-belize-sea-goddess