This time last year OneReef launched a $ for $ fundraiser to raise donations for the restoration of a destroyed floating ranger station in the OneReef partner community, Nimpal (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia).
A highlight of the Nimpal program, the floating ranger station, ideated by community members Thomas and Berna Gorong, has been much more effective at deterring and apprehending illegal poachers compared to onshore stations. This creative solution was in response to the difficulty of deterring or catching poachers since the no fishing zones are between 500 and 1500 meters off shore, which makes it easy for the poachers to get away if spotted from shore. Poachers also come under the cover of darkness, which makes them harder to spot from onshore stations. The floating ranger station is placed near the no-fishing zones, which makes it easier to spot and catch poachers. Four volunteers man the station at a time; they stay overnight, and are paid a small stipend. Any unauthorized fishing is subject to the justice of a traditional authority. The Nimpal floating ranger station was initially made with bamboo. But they found that bamboo was no good after two years because it saturated with water and started to sink. So with financial support from OneReef, they re-constructed it with wood and synthetic material and that has been proven to be very durable. But it was not able to withstand Typhoon Lan (2017) which is why it needed funds for restoration. We are happy to announce that we completed our goal of $24,000 and the rebuilding of the station is now underway! From all of us at OneReef and from our partners in Nimpal (Thomas Gorong and his team), heartfelt thanks to every donor who supported this goal and made a new ranger station possible.
An unanticipated benefit of the floating ranger station is that it has created a ripple effect in nearby communities; the Reey community (near Nimpal in Yap) saw the floating ranger station and has built their own floating station to replicate the advantages.
Further away, in our partner community of Ant Atoll (Pohnpei, FSM), Rohsa William Hawley who “can McGyver anything” has built a souped-up version of the floating ranger station using a catamaran, with funds we provided in early 2018. We are grateful to all of you who donated to make it possible for us to support the conservation efforts of Rohsa William Hawley and his community.