Unidentified man, Christopher Joyce
Local fisherman discusses his life. English translation.
Bising Bakaro(?), Christopher Joyce
Seahorse buyer discussion. English translation.
Amando Blanco, Christopher Joyce
Project Seahorse discussion.
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
23 Feb 2004
- Island of Honduman
- 9.86802 124.178
- SONY TCD-D8
- Sennheiser MKH 30
- Sennheiser MKH 40
DPA 4060 omni mics; Sonosax preamp; Subjects 2-4 are decoded MS stereo
Show: Hong Kong/Philippines
Log of DAT #11
Engineer: Mark Kurcias
Date: February 2004
0:44 MK: Testing 1, 2, testing 1,2,3 (continues testing mikes)
0:57 MK testing mikes
1:16 MK testing mikes
1:33 MK: Okay this is without the low cut filter
1:40 CHANGE OF SCENE
1:45 MK: Okay this is tape eleven and we're at Handooman. Omnis, spaced omnis, DPAs, um, it's Monday 23rd of February we're on Handooman.
2:05 CJ: Are we rolling?
2:14 CJ: Can you tell them that we come from American Radio?
2:43 CJ: That's a lot more than I said, that's good, what are you saying? He knows this whole deal already, it's good. Um, so and we're doing a story about seahorse and where they come from.
3:10 CJ: So¿so um we can ask this gentlemen here to say what his name is and how old he is
3:21 Translator talking with man
3:39 CJ: 23? And you're married with children? Do you have children?
3:46 Man: Yeah, marriage, three children
3:51 CJ: So, can you tell me what you're doing and where you get the material to make these?
4:07 Man responds
4:11 Translator (TR): I took the bamboo here from Handea island.
4:17 Man responds
4:34 TR: I am making¿can't understand b/c of fx¿boxes, cigarette boxes, all made of bamboo.
4:44 CJ: And tell me does some of the income from this go to project seahorse or to the conservation?
5:02 Man responds
5:06 TR: The income goes directly to family and we use it for food and basic things.
5:33 Man responds
5:56 TR: The handicraft men usually don't go out to sea to fish because they have some handicraft job orders. So this is help marine conservation because it lessens the number of fishing days they go out to sea.
6:20 CJ: Is he a fisher?
6:22 Man responds
6:23 TR: Net fisher (?)
6:27 CJ: Net fisher, um, before he made handicrafts did he fish more?
6:47 Man responds
6:53 TR: His fishing before was collecting shells and now he's doing some net fishing.
7:02 CJ: Which would he prefer to do- the handicrafts or more fishing?
7:07 Man responds
7:30 TR: Whenever there are orders I would prefer handicrafts, but if there are no orders, I will do fishing.
7:38 CJ: Okay, thank you, thank you
7:45 MK: Let's get some sound of them working here
7:52 CJ: Tell them he's just going to get some sound of them working
7:53 Translator talking with man
8:20 birds, talking
8:42 dog barking
8:50 birds, talking
10:58 talking, birds
11:12 MK: Okay this is MS, okay, um¿
11:27 CJ: Okay we're going to talk to, could you ask her what her name is and what she does
11:34 Woman responds
11:46 TR: My name is Bising Bakaro (?) and I am a seahorse buyer
11:51 CJ: So what we have here are seahorses and when did you get them and what are you doing with them now?
12:02 Woman responds
12:18 TR: I bought these¿I bought this one, these seahorse from lantern fishers, they are also the seahorse fishers¿can't understand¿
12:39 CJ: And what do you do to the seahorses before she can then sell them again?
12:47 Woman responds
12:56 TR: I will the seahorses and if they are dried already I will sell them
13:02 CJ: And how much does she get for a seahorse when she sells it?
13:11 Woman responds
13:18 TR: 3,500 per kilo
13:21 CJ: How much would that be for a single seahorse?
13:36 Woman responds
13:40 TR: It would be 20 pesos if it's sold single
13:44 CJ: How many people in Handooman make a living the way she does buying seahorses from the fishermen and selling them in Seboo?
13:57 Woman responds
14:01 TR: Before there were three of us but now I'm just the only one selling seahorses in Seboo
14:07 CJ: What happened to the other two?
14:10 Woman responds
14:14 TR: They no longer buy seahorse.
14:15 CJ: Is that because there are too few seahorses or they just wanted to do a different kind of business, or what happened?
14:30 Woman responds
14:35 TR: They do some other business except seahorses
14:44 CJ: Okay, um, does the seahorse business go up and down? I mean are there some times when it's really good, some times when it's really bad?
14:56 Woman responds
15:00 TR: When the exchange rate of dollar¿when the exchange rate of dollar to peso, if the dollar will increase, the price of seahorses will also increase but if the price of dollar will go down the price of seahorses will also go down.
15:20 CJ: Was there a time when there were more seahorses or is there any difference? Has there been a decline in the number of seahorses?
15:31 Woman responds
15:37 TR: The months of March, April, and May are the big months for seahorses
15:50 Woman responds
15:54 TR: There is a decline in seahorses, based on her business there is a decline in seahorses.
16:07 CJ: Since when?
16:16 Woman responds
16:23 TR: It was in 1998
16:24 CJ: So, what makes, are all seahorses just the same? I mean these are going for medicinal uses, is that correct? These are for medicine, for Chinese medicine?
16:41 Woman responds
16:48 TR: I am not sure but it has been sold and there are people who buy them dried, so probably they are for medicines.
17:01 CJ: Do Filipinos use them dried?
17:22 TR: Maybe because there are also some Filipinos buy seahorses and they say it is for less bowel movement, for arthritis, stomach aches
17:40 CJ: If anybody in the village wanted to do this business could they do or does the community agree on who's allowed to sell these?
18:00 Woman responds
18:05 TR: Whoever would like to do seahorse business they could do
18:12 CJ: But there's only one person who buys them and then how many people are fishers, how many people does she buy from?
18:22 Woman responds
18:32 TR: I only buy seahorses from Handooman seahorse fishers and there are about eighteen.
18:36 CJ: 18
18:40 Woman responds
18:45 CJ: If there were a way to improve her business what would it be?
19:11 Woman responds
19:22 TR: Can you repeat the question?
19:23 CJ: Um, how could she make her business better?
19:32 Woman responds
19:37 TR: I only serve sort of a middle man and then I just sell them to Seboo, middle person.
19:48 CJ: Okay, and then is there someone that busy live seahorses to sell?
19:58 TR: Nester
20:00 CJ: Nester, and there's just one of him in the community, one person who buys them live?
20:09 Woman responds
20:23 TR: There is some other guys who also buy some live seahorses.
20:27 CJ: And how long has she been doing this?
20:30 TR: I just new
20:32 Woman responds
20:45 TR: The new buyer just buy live seahorses and¿can't understand
20:54 CJ: Okay, thank you very much for speaking with us, thank you, appreciate it.
21:00 talking, birds
21:20 MK: How old are these?
21:33 Woman responds
21:34 TR: I don't know
21:35 MK: If these seahorses were not take from the water, and they were allowed to grow to adult size, how big would they get?
21:52 Woman responds
22:00 TR: These are the biggest seahorses that I've found so probably as big as this
22:04 Woman responds
22:08 TR: There are also giant seahorses
22:12 TR and woman talking
22:18 TR: But we don't have them here so they're probably in Maspata, Maspata is part of the Philippines
22:25 CJ: Okay
22:28 MK: Okay, just need to get some sound here, this will be ambience for the foregoing interview, MS
22:37 birds, talking
24:05 car, talking, birds
24:46 MK: Okay, end of ambience
24:47 car, talking, birds
24:57 talking, birds
25:58 CJ talking with HH(?) in background, birds
26:16 MK: Save the seahorses, kill the roosters laughing
26:25 talking about roosters/about ecuador, birds
27:36 CJ: Tell me what your name is and what you do
27:37 AB: I am Amando Blanco, I am the national director for project seahorse foundation for Marine conservation.
27:45 CJ: But you go by the name of Mods (?)
27:46 AB: My friends, my family just call me Mods.
27:50 CJ: Well, now, I know that uh Amanda told me that you are in charge of the seahorse foundation. But let's go back a little bit, I mean how did you get involved in all this in the first place?
28:02 AB: Um, I mean my employment history in project seahorse?
28:08 CJ: Yeah, well your interest in project seahorse, I mean you don't have to give me all the details I'm more interested in you know, why you think it's a good thing.
28:14 AB: I was before joining project seahorse I was working with another US funded organization, it was a grant, but I find the work with project seahorse very interesting. Why? The goals are really um, very clear. The, the areas where we work is quite close to my heart because I grew up in a fishing community also back in my early years in Lepe (?). And to me the coastal resources in the Philippines are just too threatened that we just have to make the right actions at this point. And I believe in the strategies of project seahorse. It has good combination of science based word and social development or human development work. Which are just I think the, the¿
29:26 Are you picking that up?
29:27 MK: A little bit, who is that?
29:31 CJ: Amanda? Amanda? Sorry we're picking you up here a little bit, sorry.
29:40 CJ: So, science based¿
29:43 AB: It's, what makes project seahorse very distinct compared to other conservation institutions, we have the good science and we have very effective uh community development work, social development work. So we have a good¿um tie up between research and management which is just very necessary. And as I have said, the Philippines is one of the bigger diverse countries in the world.
30:21 CJ: Biologically?
30:22 AB: Biologically.
30:23 CJ: And socially too.
30:24 AB: Socially, perhaps. I think, yeah, yeah¿
30:28 CJ: Languages¿
30:29 AB: Languages, culture, it's so diverse. And for me um, the challenge is to really act, not act later but act now because we are, these are the most, we have the most diverse um, we have the most diverse biological resources and yet we have the most threatened resources.
30:54 CJ: Project seahorse brings you know, western science, it brings, probably originally western ideas about how to get things done. What's it like trying to translate it into something that works for the Philippines?
31:08 AB: Yes, to me I don't want to really call it western science because look at the research we are in fact mobilizing communities with our research we are actually to a large extent um, um, subscribing to participatory types of strategies. You have talked to the seahorse buyer who is in fact involved with our researched, you have probably conversed with Kamada, most of which, or most of whom are also involved in our socioeconomic research. So these are probably just western introduced but we have a purely Filipino application of these concepts.
31:52 CJ: Well some of the, the way you answered the question, is it, this is not something that's been laid down by the westerners who originated with Amanda and with Heather, but you're saying that this was a project that's been built up in a Filipino fashion?
32:08 AB: Yes, probably the initial ideas were hatched by experts like Amanda, but we sort of worked together to evolve¿uh strategies or approaches that really suits well with our situations. And in fact, for example, we are based under sharing also. We are advanced in terms of the social side. They may be introducing, they maybe have, they maybe have very um, significant inputs in the technical side, but we are also off setting that in terms of the community or social development side. So there is just very good synergy of all these efforts.
32:53 CJ: Most of this revolves around I guess originally around the seahorse and the fishers and then building up from there to the fishers families and the community and all that. Um, I mean in the end what's the goal of project seahorse, it's more than just to save the seahorse.
33:11 AB: It's very interesting, yeah, it's a very interesting story you know, we were just actually using seahorse as our entry point. As our, as out attraction. But we're looking at the whole challenge of marine conservation. What makes this approach very effective is that you can easily identify your stakeholders. You can, you can discuss very concrete things. Instead of just discussing about very vague concepts on how to save the seas. You have very concrete situations.
33:51 CJ: Such as¿
33:52 AB: Such as seahorse um, seahorse fishers and seahorse habitats. For example, our work normally takes from our research on where are the locations where you have seahorse populations, so. So, the whole um, the whole element of using the seahorse as the entry point or the flagship species just triggers almost everything necessary to achieve the bigger goal of marine conservation. You have to start with something concrete; you have to start with something the communities can identify with.
34:35 CJ: And it's interesting in that when you start with the seahorses in fact what, there are twenty or thirty seahorse fishers, and 1 or 2 or 3 people who buy and sell middlemen, the lady we just met and Nester and whoever buys the live ones. And I don't know how big, how big is Handooman, how many people?
34:57 AB: Almost 300 households with six people per household.
35:07 CJ: So 2,000, 2,000 people, and what you're trying to do is, you're basically changing life for as many as 2,000 people based on twenty or thirty fishers, and 2 or 3 or 4 buyers.
35:20 AB: But we are not doing this only in Handooman. We are trying to replicate our experience in other areas where we have similar situations. So we are building on with our experience here in Handooman. For example the three new MPAs (marine protected areas ?) that we set up in, just in towns.
35:42 CJ: The MPA being¿people don't know what an MPA is
35:42 AB: MPA is a marine protected areas, these are sort of no take areas, re-stocking areas.
35:54 CJ: And just one more thing, tell me about the foundation, what is the foundation?
35:58 AB: The foundation is um, yeah, the main goal is marine conservation and we, we adapt these major strategies to advance this end goal. One is, of course, research, a combination of social and biological research. Our research is not only for¿(?)¿we also have research on marine protected areas, biological and the coral and the fish and the fishes. We have institution building, community organizing, because we believe you can only be assured of a long term development in an area if you are empowering communities. We have linkage building and networking. We have to link our work with local government, with government institutions, local government units.
36:55 Otherwise, we would be tied up perpetually to a certain place. We should be able to link this up so that the LGOs, the local government units will also be able to continue what we are trying to introduce in certain communities. We link up with other research instructions because the challenge of marine conservation is so big and you cannot just be in everything that is required. For example we can be very focused in marine protected area and seahorse research, but we cannot do other researchers required for marine conservations. We have to tie up our, we have to establish linkages with other research institutions. And one very distinct advantage for the project, for the foundation is our tie up with the big names in conservation work, worldwide. We have a good tie up with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
37:50 We have a very lively and very active tie up with the Zoological Society in London. We have strong support from the John G. Shed foundation which is based in Chicago.
38:02 CJ: Shed aquarium, yeah.
38:04 AB: So this is like, it's a micro thing with macro level support. Community based but very world wide support. There is a convergence of support from various stake holders, local, national and international. Because we belong to one ocean. Our ocean we share with our brothers and sisters in Canada for example, your place in the US, there is only one ocean.
38:33 CJ: I've heard, I've heard that from Amanda. Okay thank you, I think we covered pretty much¿
38:42 AB: Was it clear?
38:43 CJ: Very clear. Excellent, thank you very much. You did a good job.
38:48 AB: Thanks Chris, thanks, thanks for taking time to cover our work here in the Philippines.
38:52 CJ: No, it's fun, don't get a chance to do this very often.
38:53 AB: We look forward to having some opportunities to share our work in the future.
39:00 CJ: Do you need to stay here and get some sound?
39:02 MK: Yeah, yeah.
39:03 CJ: Ok, we need to leave him, he's gonna get some ambience
39::05 walking away, birds
39:14 MK: Okay this is ambience for the forgoing interview, MS stereo ambience.
39:21 birds, talking in background
40:28 CJ: Another quicky
40:29 MK: Another question?
40:31 walking, birds
40:49 CJ: So if he's gonna interpret, can you sit over here? This is the microphone.
40:55 setting up for interview
41:07 CJ: Can you just say your name and where you live?
41:07 AB translating
41:10 Woman responds
41:16 AB: I am Elvi Boho (?), I live here in Handooman.
41:20 CJ: So, um, can you explain to me, can you explain to me what your job is with the handicrafts in Handooman.
41:28 AB translating
41:35 Woman responds
42:00 AB: My involvement with the Handooman handicrafts business is I supervise the production of the crafts, I supervise, I make sure that the products are in good quality. And I also handle the shipment of these products to the buyers.
42:22 CJ: Obviously, the pictures on the handicrafts are of seahorses. Tell me a little bit about how the seahorse makes the handicraft special.
42:30 AB translating
42:49 Woman responds
42:27 AB: Most of the people who are involved in the handicrafts are fishers. And they find it symbolic to put the seahorse as a, as an identification symbol in their products because that's a way of telling people that we have reduced our fishing efforts because of this. Because of these handicrafts making.
44:00 CJ: So the idea is if they can make money from handicrafts they wont be taking so many seahorses from the reefs.
44:05 AB translating
44:12 Woman responds
44:14 AB: Yes, that's the idea
44:15 CJ: Say that again.
44:16 AB: Yes, that's the idea
44:18 CJ: Um, how much income does the handicraft generate, and does it generate as much income as they would get if they were actually fishing for seahorses.
44:28 AB translating
44:51 Woman responds
45:22 AB: They are earning more with the handicrafts making compared to the seahorse fishing because you can only, they can only catch very few seashores now unlike before, so what they are actually wanting now are more orders for their uh handicrafts otherwise, if no orders will be coming they would be pushed again to go back to the seas and fish seahorses. Even if they know that these are now decreasing at this point.
46:00 CJ: Umhm, okay. Um, these are fisher people, these are fishermen who grew up fishing, who taught them how to make handicrafts?
46:09 AB translating
46:23 Woman responds
46:55 AB: So, um, traditionally they are making handicrafts. But only the mats (?) that has been the traditional handicraft that they use. But Doctor Amanda Vincent encouraged them to make other types of handicrafts. Amanda Vincent gave them samples that might sell in other places. So that's why we they have diversified their product items. From only two, the mats (?) to these very numerous types of handicrafts, products.
47:35 CJ: Thank you very much for speaking with us.
47:36 AB translating
47:42 CJ: If I wanted to buy some of these things now, can I buy them from you? Okay? Um¿
47:51 AB talking with woman
48:00 AB: She's asking if you wanted to ask them about the guest house, if they?
48:01 CJ: Oh, yeah, yeah, tell me about that.
48:04 Woman talking
48:30 AB: They really love a situation where several people would be living in their guest house so they could earn income from this and they could share the income to the um, management of their marine resources.
48:50 CJ: Okay. Good, thank you, who build it by the way?
48:58 AB: Could I just explain it, they are setting aside a portion of the income to support their activities in the sanctuary for example, the environmental fund.
49:08 CJ: How much percentage?
49:09 AB translating
49:15 Woman: 2 percent, 2 percent
49:18 CJ: And the rest goes to?
49:21 AB translating
49:27 AB: The rest goes to the general fund.
49:34 CJ: The community general fund, yeah, ok thank you. You're gonna stay here for a minute? Okay we're done. Long day.
49:52 MK: Okay I'm just gonna get some more sound.
49:55 walking, birds
50:01 MK: Okay so this will be some more ambience for the two foregoing interviews, the handicrafts and the local NGO guy.
50:17 birds, talking in background
52:11 MK: End of ambience
52:12 SOUND STOPS
55:42 TAPE ENDS