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Defiende el Mar

14:49 20th June 2006 by
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Defiende el Mar

No matter what part of the world you surf in, the
ocean is in trouble. From the industrial fishing
fleets to ravage Europe’s Atlantic coastlines to the
Taiwanese pirate fleets that dynamite the fragile
coral reefs of Indonesia, to long-lines that snag
sea turtles in the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific
waters of California. For most marine scientists
and conservationists the only viable way of
protecting our fragile marine life is through the
development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).
These safe havens for threatened marine habitats
and wildlife are our best defense against the
predations of industrial-scale fishing gear.

But developing a network of MPAs in the
world’s most endangered seas is easier said than
done. Wherever conservationists have proposed
adopting MPAs, the fishing industry has fought
back hard. For example developing MPAs in
Mexico’s Sea of Cortez and along California’s
Pacific coast have been stalled for years because of
the opposition of the commercial fishing industry.

Now surfers, conservationists, fishermen
and some of the world’s greatest soccer players
are fighting back to defend our oceans. In order
to advance the cause of MPAs in California and
Mexico’s Sea of Cortez (that includes the great
waves of Sinaloa, Nayarit and the East Cape),
WiLDCOAST has launched the “Defiende el
Mar” campaign. Mexico’s Word Cup soccer
striker “Kikin” Fonseca and legendary ex-
World Cup goalie and current assistant coach of
Mexico’s 2006 World Cup team, Jorge Campos
have joined this campaign that has rocketed
marine conservation into the exciting arena of
World Cup soccer.

To promote the campaign, WiLDCOAST
volunteers flooded Mexico’s World Cup team
training ground in Acapulco passing out posters
and postcards featuring Kikin and Campos.
Kikin, the most popular and charismatic soccer
star in Mexico also met with the mayor of
Acapulco to talk about protecting marine life
(Acapulco is a major center for sea turtle egg poaching). And WiLDCOAST staff and volunteers
including Steamer Lane turned San Diego local
Ben McCue, worked the crowd at the Mexican
team’s last playing appearance in public at the
Rose Bowl in Pasadena before the team departed
for Germany.

But this campaign truly will global when
our WiLDCOAST team travels to Germany for
the World Cup. There we carry out an intensive
media and guerrilla campaign on the streets of
Hanover, Gelsenkirchen, and Munich to capture
the attention of the thousands of Mexico fans
watching their team play Portugal and Angola
and the more than 500 million Latin American
fans who will watch the campaign on television.
Dorismar, our celebrity spokesperson, will
become “A Mermaid of the Sea” on the streets
of Germany in order to show that saving the
ocean is not only cool but sexy. Hopefully
government officials in Mexico and the United
States will get the message that saving Mother
Ocean is something that can’t wait.

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