Video: Life of a Dugong Guide

Brenda Lee Woodyatt is a local freelance dive instructor based in a small and remote fishing village in Coron, Palawan, Philippines where the main source of livelihood is tourism.

This island is renowned for its Japanese WWII shipwrecks, beautiful reefs, lakes, lagoons and the elusive seacow or locally called as "Dugong". Brenda has seen the decline of coral health and seagrass in the last several years due to climate change, unsustainable fishing habits and improper disposal of trash in the coastal areas.

iStock 471362969She explains, “I strongly believe in the importance of sustainable tourism, hence I have always tried to help raise awareness about marine conservation starting from my village, mainly working with kids. I take them on a coastal clean-up with me and on day trips where they can learn the importance of taking care of the ocean. I have taught and certified 2 young adults in the village as Open Water divers and hoping to certify more locals in my village.”

This is Brenda’s story.

This article is part of an online series dedicated to the UN Ocean Decade. One story will be published each week that is related to initiatives, new knowledge, partnerships, or innovative solutions that are relevant to the following seven Ocean Decade outcomes. Access the special digital issue dedicated to the Ocean Decade here.

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