Fish 'N Fins - An Unconventional Approach to Building Climate Resilience
Montserrat’s first Kids Ocean Club was started in 2014 by Montserratian Ocean Advocate and Outreach Specialist, Veta Wade. The program provides ed-venture opportunities to local youth on Montserrat & Barbuda. Fish 'N Fins has been able to immerse over 1000 local children in the exciting world of under the sea. Fish 'N Fins also provides Ocean Camps in association with Blue Halo Barbuda and The Holy Trinity School, Codrington.
‘‘As a Caribbean national, I live at the front line of climate change. From where I stand, I see a key part of the building resilience here rests entirely in educating our youth in the preservation of our ocean backyard. We’ve got lots of work to do, but I’m looking forward to doing it together.’’ Veta Wade.
A BIG MISSION To inspire future ocean leaders through experiential learning.
AN UNCONVENTIONAL APPROACH: In the last 30 years alone, we’ve lost 50% of coral reefs. It cannot be overlooked that our coral reefs too, at the front line of climate change and our actions now will dictate whether or not they survive; impacting all 44 million people in the Caribbean, and a quarter of all ocean life.
As life on land is intrinsically linked to life under the sea, we have committed to supporting our children’s learning to understand the plight of our oceans. But to do so, they must be immersed in the sea.
We offer experiential learning starting with learning to swim at sea, to snorkelling and kayaking, supporting youth advocacy, beach and sea clean ups, and participating in citizen science programs.
PHOTO: Lead Reef Patrol girl, 13 year old, Grace Owen discovers marine invasive species, Orange Cup Coral. Cladopsammia gracilis (previously Tubastraea coccinea)
PHOTO: Local children join with Fish ‘N Fins at a community beach clean-up day, May 2018.
At Fish 'N Fins we enable children to be agents of change by increasing the focus on children’s participation. Children are given access to knowledge, to better understand climate change impacts and solutions and are given opportunities to affect change.
PHOTO: Fish 'N Finers on Reef Patrol at Caars Bay. Every Sunday Reef Patrollers go in search of anything that might pose a threat to our precious reefs, especially marine debris.
PHOTO: Fish 'N Finers enjoy learning about our reef fish with Blue Halo Site Manager, Robin Ramdeen
In March 2018 Fish 'N Finers created a float in our St Patricks Parade to raise community awareness on plastic pollution. The theme, ‘ The Revolution Against Pollution’ was decided by the children, Tshirts and concept was designed by 13 year old Grace Owen, and parents participated as well.
Photo: Fish N Finers participate in the St Patricks Parade 2018 under their theme ‘ The Revolution Against Polution.’ Photo by: Shayna Brody for Waitt Institute
In the context of climate change programming, children need to a part of the process from, goal setting to implementation. They are the most vulnerable to climate change and in the end, it will be their monster to conquer.
PHOTO: Fish N Fins Day Campers engaged in the Fish N Fins Classroom at our Little Bay Clubhouse.
Decisions that are informed by children will be more sustainable and far more impactful in their lives and our community.
‘’Our natural heritage must be conserved if our next generation of Caribbean nationals are to thrive spiritually culturally and economically’’, Veta Wade.
PHOTO: Founder / Chief Inspirer at Fish N Fins making learning about our coral reefs fun, with the children of Holy Trinity School, Codrington , Barbuda.