Passionate staff based at Ibo Island Lodge and their dive and activity centre, Dive Quirimbas, have been doing their best to provide extra conservation support to the Quirimbas National Park (QNP). They are helping by providing extra eyes out on the water and donating fuel to enable the busy rangers to perform more regular patrols within the park.
Already this year the team has had one major success.When one of the QNP rangers, Malenga, was heading out towards the mainland on a night patrol on April 25th, he came across a boat carrying seven live turtles which had been caught in a net. The hunters were on their way to the mainland to slaughter these beautiful and rare creatures. Malenga and his crew apprehended the fishermen, their boat and nets and the Police then stepped in.
For centuries, the people of Ibo Island have used the island’s natural resources for survival. Unfortunately, this has caused over-fishing, destructive netting practices, trade in curios that exploit natural treasures and slash and burn agriculture – all threats to the sensitive biodiversity of the Quirimbas Archipelago region.Read more about the local culture right here.
It is therefore vital to maintain the balance of the sensitive ecology of the Mozambique Quirimbas Archipelago with the need to develop and provide comfort to tourists and jobs to locals – all stakeholders need to join hands to actively conserve the natural environment.
In another incident, the Dive Quirimbas boat was out in March and unfortunately came across another net. This time, however, it was too late for the poor turtles. The Dive Quirimbas crew called the QNP and stayed with the net and the turtles so that they could be confiscated and destroyed. The QNP staff recognised the net and the buoys which enabled them to arrest the fisherman and owner of the boat who has been fined a hefty 170.000mts.
Ibo Island falls within the protected Quirimbas National Park: the warm turquoise waters provide feeding and or nesting grounds for Loggerhead turtles, Green, Hawksbill, Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles. Humpback whales visit the region where they shelter their calves between July and November each year.
Other environmental conservation initiatives on Ibo Island include the school awareness projects and all the local schools are now part of a weekly litter removing project – Ibo is looking better and better every day.
In addition, the QNP and Dive Quirimbas have set up some training programs for the captains of the locally hired dhows. They learn what to do when taking tourists to see the Dolphins and how the tourists should interact with them and how to approach them by boat. Ibo and Dive Quirimbas have plenty more turtle programs coming up later this year.
Visitors booking Mozambique Holidays to Ibo Island look forward to seeing the Common, Spinner, Bottlenose and Humpback dolphins as well as the Zambezi, Tiger and Black and White Tip Sharks as well as Sting rays and Manta rays.
When you book your holiday to Ibo Island, make sure you go out on a conservation patrol one day to see exactly how it all works and visit the local school. You will feel inspired.