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Peace Corps Volunteer Launches Sustainable Fisheries Project in the Dominican Republic

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 17, 2011 Peace Corps volunteer Gabrielle Bashist of Chino Hills, Calif., is working with 40 local fishermen on the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic to help protect the local reef and create a sustainable fishing industry.

The fishermen realized the importance of working together, instead of having many fishermen competing among themselves, said Bashist, a community economics volunteer who has been in the Dominican Republic since August 2010. They also know that because the sea has limited resources, they must find other income alternatives.Magnifying glass iconPeace Corps volunteer Gabrielle Bashist with the fishermen learning how to tie knots for fishing.

Bashist worked with the local fisherman to form an association and establish rules to protect marine life in the bay. Bashist also taught the fishermen management, business and leadership skills, and encouraged them to sell products to local businesses. The association will soon begin a project to repopulate the lobsters in the bay.

About Peace Corps/Dominican Republic: More than 4,220 Peace Corps volunteers have served in the Dominican Republic since the program was established in 1962. Currently, 220 volunteers serve in the Dominican Republic. Volunteers work in the areas of community development, health, environment, youth development and business. Volunteers are trained and work in Spanish and basic Haitian Kreyol.

Magnifying glass iconPeace Corps volunteer Gabrielle Bashist with fishermen in the association.About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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