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- Clive White
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SEE&SEA Helping the Moken in Burma, 2011-2012 Appeal
The islands that make up the Mergui Archipelago in Burma are home to the Moken people. Depending nearly entirely on the sea, the fishermen face more and more pressures every year to their very existence. Often bullied by the mainland fishing fleets for supplies and easily swayed by the Thais to adopt unsustainable and destructive fishing methods such as blast fishing and shark finning, the simple Moken way of life may become a thing of the past, leaving behind an eco-system laid to waste through exploitation and pollution.
During the 2010-2011 diving season Thailand Dive & Sail collected unwanted glasses to distribute amongst the Moken people. The appeal was a great success, over 50 villagers with impaired vision received glasses to help improve their quality of life. In March 2011, Thailand Dive & Sail with Dr Andrea Marshall, distributed the glasses with literature aimed at educating the fishermen to use more sustainable fishing methods, to protect precious coral reefs, to stop fishing for sharks and to say no to Thais wishing to employ them as blast fishermen. The campaign also gave us valuable insight into the lives of the Moken which enabled us to set our goals for the future. Read http://thailanddiveandsail.com/front/index.php/news/one_article/8 for more details of our 2010-2011 campaign.
For the up-coming 2011-2012 dive season Thailand Dive & Sail, whilst continuing to collect glasses will expand SEE&SEA to tackle a more serious problem facing the Moken. Malaria diagnosis and treatment is sorely needed and we hope to provide enough medicine to treat those with the disease. As part of our continued commitment to the future of the region it is important to prevent the spread of malaria. Thailand Dive & Sail want to provide mosquito nets for all households that make up the Moken villages and to run beach clean-up programs to clear the trash that becomes the breading grounds for mosquitos.
If you wish to help Thailand Dive & Sail help the Moken we need reading glasses, funds for malaria medicine and mosquitos nets and sponsorship for beach clean-up programs. Please contact www.thailanddiveandsail.com for more details of how you can help.