Why Not Plant A Fish? Make That A Billion.

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Plant A Fish Foundation

Photo: Courtesy Plant A Fish Foundaton

Plant A Fish Launched in Honor of Jacques Cousteau’s 100th Birthday and to Celebrate World Oceans Day

Fabien Cousteau, third generation Ocean Explorer, founded Plant A Fish (PAF), a campaign to help restore and protect healthy waters around the world. Continuing a legacy of exploration and marine life protection pioneered by Fabien’s grandfather Jacques Cousteau, Plant A Fish intends to educate and engage people in greater ocean awareness and ultimately ocean stewardship, beginning with the simple act of first ‘planting a fish’.

fabien cousteau plant a fish

Fabien Cousteau, courtesy Plant A Fish

Plant A Fish will empower communities to get involved with responsible ‘re-planting’ of key marine species in their local habitats in distressed bodies of water around the world. Initial targeted projects in 2010-2011 will include responsible re-planting mangroves in South Florida, sea turtles in El Salvador and coral in the Maldives. In June 2010, oysters were re-planted in Hudson Bay (more details below).

More than 20% of the world’s population relies on healthy water bodies as a source of food or income.

Healthy water bodies are a critical element in the sustainable management of the earth’s natural resources. Over 97% of the earth is covered by aquatic ecosystems that contain vast and diverse species of marine life. However, with growing demand for seafood, over-population, over-fishing and increased pollution, exhausted water bodies are creating dangerous conditions for the health of marine life, and for humans.

“My grandfather often said that ‘People protect what they love.’ The mission of Plant A Fish is to help people learn more, and ultimately care more, by ‘getting wet’ and getting directly involved in restoring and protecting water bodies and marine life,” said Fabien Cousteau, founder, Plant A Fish. “Entire species of marine life are disappearing at an alarming rate. In the past 50 years, almost 60% of our world’s fish stocks have been consumed, and less than 10% of the big fish species are left in the world. It’s time we stop acting as hunters and start becoming farmers. We must tend to the oceans as we do to a prized garden, as we ultimately depend on them too.”

Fabien expresses his wonder at the maze of steel supporting an abundance of life at the gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Plant A Fish is an organization that should have the support of everyone who values ocean life. Its’ mission to protect and restore our marine environments is essential for the current and future sustainability of our ecosystems.” Eric Ripert, Executive Chef/Co-Owner, Le Bernardin

The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School: 1st participants in Plant A Fish’s first restoration project in the Hudson.

PAF and Fabien Cousteau’s support allowed Harbor School students to engage in rigorous scientific studies meant to not only improve the local marine environment, but also increase their chances of success in high school and ultimately college.

We cannot think of a more appropriate way to celebrate Jacques Cousteau’s legacy than to work with his grandson and inspire the next generation of marine scientists, divers and conservationists,” said Murray L. Fisher, Co-Founder and Program Director, The Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.

Photo: Courtesy Plant A Fish

Oyster “C” Garden Program to Re-Plant One Billion Oysters

On June 7th, together with students from the New York Harbor School, Fabien “re-planted” oysters off of Governor’s Island in New York Harbor. The Hudson River used to be home to the largest oyster bay in the world. Over-harvesting and dredging over the centuries wiped out this essential species which serves as a natural filter, and as shelter and food for other sea creatures. Partnering with schools such as the NY Harbor School and the local community, Plant A Fish’s oyster program will plant a total of 1 billion oysters to reestablish a healthy population in the area.

fabien cousteau's plant a fish turtle program

Photo: Courtesy Plant A Fish

Turtle “C” Garden Program to Re-Plant One Billion Sea Turtles

The eastern Pacific hawksbill turtles are the most endangered population of sea turtles in the world. Hope was lost to save them until very recently, a small but viable population was found nesting in the mangroves of El Salvador. Working with the skills of the tortugeros (turtle egg hunters) and others, Plant A Fish will re-plant one billion sea turtles to ensure the restoration of this species and others.

Photo: Courtesy Plant A Fish

Mangrove “C Garden” Program to Re-Plant One Million Mangroves.

Mangroves perform two vital roles. They serve as a nursery for a vast number of sea creatures such as goliath groupers, lobsters and flamingos. Mangroves also serve as a barrier against storm surges, erosion and hurricanes. Unfortunately, modern development is cutting down or bulldozing mangrove forests at alarming rates. Partnering with local communities and schools like South Plantation High, Plant A Fish aims to re-plant 1 million mangroves on shorelines that need it most.

Photo: Courtesy Plant A Fish

Coral “C Garden” Program to Re-Plant One Million Corals.

Coral reefs are the tropical forests of the undersea world. Boat strikes, storms and especially coral bleaching are the main threats to our world’s corals. Current estimates project a loss of up to 60% of worldwide corals in the next few decades. The Plant A fish coral program works with local schools, people and organizations such as Six Senses to re-plant 1 million corals in several hot spots worldwide like the Maldives and the Florida Keys.

About Plant A Fish.
Plant a Fish is a newly-launched nonprofit, headquartered in New York City, by third-generation ocean explorer and environmental advocate, Fabien Cousteau, whose mission is to empower communities to become involved with responsible ‘re-planting’ of key marine species in their local habitats in distressed bodies of water around the world. Initial targeted projects in 2010-2011 will include responsible re-planting of oysters in New York Harbor, sea turtles in El Salvador, mangroves in South Florida, corals in the Maldives. For more information, please visit http://www.plantafish.org. Join Plant A Fish on Facebook and Twitter.

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One Response

  1. […] Coral reefs occupy less than one percent of the Earth’s marine environment, but are home to more than a quarter of all known marine fish species. […]

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