DAVID BENAVENTE, Marine Monitoring Technician
Following in his father and grandfather’s footsteps, David Benavente is a third generation Laolao Bay fisherman. The area is also where his dad, Roman, taught him how to use talaya, a traditional Chamorro cast net.
One morning, during summer break from college in Oregon, Benavente’s dad woke him up to go fishing at Laolao Bay. “We walked out onto the reef crest and saw a school of about 15 tataga swim into the channel,” he says. “My dad threw his net and it landed right on top of the fish. You could see how big they were, at least a foot long.” What Benavente’s father said next had a big impact on him. “I grabbed my bag and started putting all of the fish inside it. My dad looked at me and said, ‘Dave, let’s go home now. We have all that we need.’”
Benavente hopes that people will think before they litter. “I have so many memories at Laolao Bay. And one day, I want to bring my own children here to teach them how to fish, the way my dad taught me,” he says. “I’m asking everyone to do their part in keeping Laolao Bay litter-free.”