The Christian Science Monitor

After hurricane Maria, he's helping the ocean – and its fishers – recover

Raimundo Espinoza Chirinos stands on the boat as local fishermen dive on March 13, 2018 in Naguabo, Puerto Rico. Ray Espinoza runs Conservacion ConCiencia, an organization that hires fisherman to retrieve illegal, or lost, lobster cages off the coast. Source: Alfredo Sosa/Staff

Raimundo Espinoza Chirinos leans over the side of a fishing boat and points at a dark blur rising up slowly beneath the choppy water. “Here he comes. He’s got something,” Mr. Espinoza says, as fisherman Julio Ortiz breaks the surface of the water. Mr. Ortiz, wearing a short-sleeved wet suit and small circular mask, treads water as he heaves up a contraption made of red plastic milk crates fastened together with rope.

It’s a fish trap – an illegal one, given that it’s made of plastic – that was lost when hurricane Maria tore across Puerto Rico last year. The estimated hundreds of traps that were swept out to sea in September are not only capturing and killing lobster and fish but also potentially seeping chemicals into water and the seafood people eat.

“There are no markings on the surface [for these lost traps], which means only someone

Valuing fishermenHailing from a landlocked cityHow to take action

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