Art and Science Fair to celebrate marine life « STREET WHALE »
The Cameroon coast is home to a wide biodiversity and hotspot to large aquatic animals (aquatic megafauna) such as the African manatee, marine turtles, sharks, rays, dolphins and especially whales as well as many other fish and shellfish species. These animals ensure ecological balance through their interaction in the food chain which extends to humans. Many species such as sea turtles, whales and dolphins constitute main sources of income for coastal communities which depend mainly on ecotourism. Certain species of sea turtles and rays are considered by some communities as part of their cultural heritage and guardian animal "Totem". On the Cameroonian coast, nearly 30 communities and more than 4,000 families depend directly on artisanal and semi-industrial fishing for their nutrition, education, health and other livelihood means. Industrial fishing is also very developed with more than 30 companies practicing trawling and shrimp fishing. Beyond ecological, cultural and community benefits, the marine waters ensure the transport of goods and petroleum products, as well as petroleum exploration and exploitation. However, the marine megafauna and other little studied marine organisms are highly threatened. The Humpback Dolphin and Hawksbill Turtle are critically endangered, 16 Elasmobranch are at the critical level on the IUCN Red List. Main threats on these species are related to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing practices, poaching by local communities, accidental catch and ecosystem degradation through pollution by domestic, plastic and petroleum waste. These factors not only alter the natural ecosystem but also disrupts the local economy, health concerns and livelihoods of communities.
Conservation actions have been initiated by AMMCO and other partners, in particular the biological and mechanical control of the invasive aquatic fern Salvinia molesta from Lake Ossa, awareness campaigns and environmental education. Advocacy with government actors has been initiated on the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) for the sustainable management of marine resources in Cameroon. The maritime portion of the Douala-Edea national park remains the only legally recognised MPA in Cameroon. The other two, Ndongere in the South West Region and Manyange na Elombo-Campo in the South Region remain proposed MPAs with no management plan. In order to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of a management framework for our oceans and resources, it is important that stakeholders come together to discuss strategies for action.
The objective of the « STREET WHALE » festival is to raise awareness and promote the conservation of whales and other aquatic megafauna species as well as their habitat in Cameroon through the combination of art and scientific discussion forums. Specifically, it will mean to:
- Build a Giant Whale Sculpture from collected plastic bottles;
- Inform Institutional stakeholders (national and international), academic partners, private sector companies, civil society organizations, fishing communities and the public on issues related to marine biodiversity;
- Lead Debates on issues relating to community development, responsible fishing and the conservation of whales and marine megafauna in Cameroon.
● Artistic activities
Thursday 11th November 2021
- Gala evening: reserved for registrants and guests
|Schedule||Artistic event||Scientific event|
|2pm-3pm||CéréCeremony of launching|
|3pm-6pm||Beginning of Construction of the giant whale||Visit of scientific posters|
|Friday 12th November 2021|
|9am-10:30am||Construction of the giant whale + Painting + Seashells valorization||Forum Marine Protected Area|
|11am-12:30am||Construction of the giant whale + Painting + Seashells valorization||Forum Fishing|
|1pm-3:30pm||Construction of the giant whale + Painting + Seashells valorization||Forum Pollution and coastal erosion|
|Saturday 13th November 2021|
|8am-1pm||Construction of the giant whale + Painting + Seashells valorization||Beach clean-up campaign (8am-11am) et Sea trip (8am-1pm)|
|1pm-3pm||Construction of the giant whale + Painting + Seashells valorization||Forum Citizen Science|
|From 8pm||Inauguration of the whale + Gala + Prize giving to the best SIREN contributors|
Contact: 656 42 59 88 | 651 74 35 95
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