Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund)

To inspire innovative, transnational solutions to critical Mesoamerican reef issues through providing meaningful, long-term financial support and trustworthy reef management advice so that future generations can enjoy and benefit from a thriving reef.
Sep 16, 2013

Lionfish is ready to cook in Guatemala

Last Saturday, September 07, a second lionfish derby was held with the Quetzalito fishing community, again in the site known as Motagüilla in Punta de Manabique.

This time, the goal was a much more interesting one.  The National Food Fair was going to be held in Guatemala City from Monday 9 to Wednesday 11, and the fishers, with support from Scuba Dive Shops, Dim Sum Restaurant, GOs and NGOs, wanted to promote lionfish conssumption during this event.

It is important to mention that the owner of Dim Sum Restaurant already has a cooperation agreement with MAR Fund, and he donates a percent of the profit generated by certain dishes of his restaurant, for sustainable fishing projects.

During the derby, sixty eight lionfish were hunted thanks to thirty six brave divers. The amount of fish was not much, but it was just fine for the Food Fair.  The hunted lionfish were brought to the fair and a cook off was set to all participants in the fair. Many people had the experince of tasting the delicious lionfish meat.

As a result of this initiative, a group of restaurants, including Dim Sum, became really interested in including lionfish to their menus. Fishers are very excited to start selling this new product while protecting the reef by extracting this invasive and harmful species.

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Sep 13, 2013

Great progress in Cuyamel - Omoa National Park

Monitoring of fish in the Chachaguala lagoon
Monitoring of fish in the Chachaguala lagoon

The NGO Cuerpos de Conservación de Omoa, co-adminsitrator of the Cuyamel - Omoa National Park, has done an extraordinary diagnosis on the status of the fisheries resources within the protected area.  This diagnostic was developed jointly with fishers from several coastal communities: Chachaguala, Muchilena, Villa San Martín, Masca, El Paraíso, among others.  These communities are worried about the decrease of the resources and want to support the fisheries recovery site initiative. 

The staff from the NGO divided the protected area in three main sites: river, lagoon and reef. Then they did monitor each of the sites so that the fishers could notice the relation and linkage among the ecosystems and its respective species.

The results of the monitoring were socialized with the fishers who learned about the importance that each ecosystem has for the different stages of the life cycle of every fish sepcies.  With these results, they all agreed the area to propose as a fisheries recovery site.

We are very excited that they are now preparing the demarcation bouys for the fisheries recovery zones and close to submit the are proposed to the authorities and to begin the legal process to become co-administrators of their own fishing resources.

We will keep you posted about their next promising steps! 

Fishers preparing recovery sites demarcation bouys
Fishers preparing recovery sites demarcation bouys
Jun 17, 2013

Sarstun and Omoa to co-manage fishing resources for its sustainable use and conservation

As the co-management action plan moves forward in the Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge in Guatemala, another fishing comunnities from the region have began a co-management initiative on their own: Omoa, within the Cuyamel - Omoa National Park, in Honduras; and Barra Sarstún, Cocolí, San Juan and Buena Vista, within the Río Sarstún Multiple Use Area, in Guatemala.

Yes!  We are thrilled to tell you that co-management projects started in these two Coastal Protected Areas last April, this year.  These new projects will have the support from the Tri National Alliance for the Conservation of the Gulf of Honduras (TRIGOH).  Visits to exchange experiences among other fishing communities will be held with these new projects.

In Sarstun, Guatemala, the objective is to implement four fisheries recovery sites, one in each community.  In Omoa, Honduras, the implementation of one fisheries recovery site is targeted.  This effort will increase the number of fish refuges of our regional network. 

The implementation of these type of projects only strengthens our Community Fisheries Program which you and your support have been the most important part.

We will be sure to keep you posted on the progress of each of these projects along the year!

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