Mayotte and its 1500 km2 lagoon is considered a world-class hotspot of biodiversity. Unfortunately, the natural heritage of this island in the Comoros Archipelago is threatened on a daily basis. Uncontrolled urbanization, deforestation, slash and burn farming, destruction of mangroves, practically inexistent sewage treatment plants and inefficient waste collection are the cause of water pollution and silting in the lagoon. This asphyxiates the coral reefs and thus causes a relentless decline of the local population’s fish supply. On top of that there’s the building works that nibble at the coastline and marine habitats, habitats that are essential to the life cycles of key species such as sea turtles, dugongs, manta rays, dolphins and humpback whales.
2011 is the year of French overseas departments and the year that Mayotte becomes one of these departments. It is also the year of my involvement and integration into Surfrider Foundation Europe’s Keepers of the Coast network. My aim is to inform local authorities about the threats that face the environment and make them aware of the importance of protecting this heritage for future generations. This way, I’ll campaign for integrated development that takes into account the biological wealth of our oceans whilst allowing people living on the coast to earn an income from fishing, tourism and leisure … Inch Alha!!!