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Ecuador | Wednesday, 28 October 2009 | 5 photos

I was volunteering at a marine conservation programme, Equilibrio-Azul, in Ecuador when I was asked to photograph the fishermen preparing their catch for the morning market. The current law allows fishermen to profit from their by-catch leading to 'accidental' catching of shark and ray species which are bordering on endangered. Equilibrio-Azul is working to make it illegal for fishermen to sell their by-catch to hopefully put an end to this problem. Ironically the fishermen thought I was a tourist and were happily and proudly showing me their catch, unaware of my intent. Sadly, the seas in this area are massively overfished and for the people of this town, fishing is their lifeblood, it drives the economy of the town and the abundance of unique marine life is what draws tourism to the area. Hopefully with education, the fishermen of Puerto Lopez will learn more sustainable and environmentally friendly fishing methods.
It has always been my life long dream, back since I was a little girl rifling through my dad's stacks of National Geographic's, fingers tracing the dusty yellow spines, to be a photojournalist and one day have my picture printed in National Geographic. I am dedicated and devoted to photojournalism, I want to create images that make an impact upon the world and leave my mark on the pages of history. To me nothing is more important that raising awareness with photography. To work alongside a National Geographic photographer would be an unimaginable opportunity. I live and breathe travel and new experiences. I am prepared to go above and beyond and will absorb any knowledge that is bestowed upon me. To do all this in such a fascinating location as Bhutan, somewhere so unique and as yet untouched by mass tourism, would really be a true come true.

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