Dive & Fishing Gear Donations
This project was inspired by time spent with the El Manglito dive fishers of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. This community of fishermen have collectively organized with the help of the non-governmental organization NOS Noroeste Sustentable A.C. to restore the scallop population of a historically abundant fishing ground -- the Ensenada de La Paz.
The Ensenada is a large cove adjacent to the city of La Paz, located in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Once home to a thriving scallop fishery natural and human influences led to overfishing and habitat degradation.
Together, fishermen and NOS Noroeste Sustentable work together to restore the scallop fishery by restocking the Ensenada with juvenile scallops. The El Manglito fishermen joined in a no-fishing agreement and work together to patrol the Ensenada for illegal fishermen.
The fishermen utilize their own dive gear to restore the fishery. Since the Baja Peninsula is sparsely populated, the wetsuit supply is meager and prices are inflated. As a result, the fishers continue to wear thin, torn up, hand repaired wetsuits.
Surfers and divers in temperate waters must wear wetsuits handle the cold surf. Once a wetsuit tears or becomes too thin it's no longer useful. Wetsuits typically head to the landfill.
In August 2014, Amigos Marinos began collecting used wetsuits from surfers with the help of Ben Lemke and Miranda Hudson of FCD Surfboards and Patagonia. Very soon after, Patagonia Santa Monica and Patagonia Cardiff jumped on board. To date, we have collected over 200 wetsuits.
This effort not only provide fishermen with gear to continue their restoration efforts, but it also relieves the financial burden of paying inflated prices for work gear. The money used to buy wetsuits can now be repurposed to support their families.