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.
Dec 11, 2013

Community fisheries recovery sites in Sarstun

Scuba diving certified fishers
Scuba diving certified fishers

The first initiative of fisheries recovery sites in the Río Sarstún Multiple Use Area in Guatemala has had a very good acceptance from the fishers, authorities and private sector. It also has reached important previous results.

A research protocol to establish the baseline of the proposed fisheries recovery sites was designed and will shortly be implemented by FUNDAECO (the NGO that co-administrates the protected area) jointly with the fishers and authorities

Also, with the support of Water Quest dive shop, seven fishers were trained and certified in scuba diving.  After this training, the first workshop on biological monitoring techniques was held and the seven certified fishers participated.  It is expected that, after the project concludes, they will continue with the monitoring of their fishing resources.

A recognition visit was made to potential fisheries recovery sites within the PA and prioritize these according to their current ecological status.
We are also supporting a RARE initiative that FUNDAECO began in the King Fish reef siteThis is a three coral reef patches area outside the PA. A technical study on the biologica relevance was previously developed and submited to the Research Department of the Fisheries Authority. As the Research Department has approved the technical study, we will also support the next phase: the follow-up meetings with the Legal Department of the Fisheries Authority.
We look forward to the final results of this project.  We are certain these will be vey interesting and will be sure to share them with you.  After all, without your support, this wouldn't be happening!
Best,
The MAR Fund Team



Dec 11, 2013

Lionfish cook off in Guatemalan restaurant

Fishers and authorities jointly catching lionfish
Fishers and authorities jointly catching lionfish

After the success reached by the lion fish cook off during the National Food Fair in September, fishermen from Quetzalito, a small fishing village from the Guatemalan Caribbean, with the support of DIPESCA (Fisheries Administration) and Water Quest, a dive shop committed with some groups of fishermen, brought lionfish to a prestigious Spanish restaurant in Guatemala City.  

During the event, several lionfish dishes were served to the participants, that included: NGOs, GOs, private sector and general public.  All dishes were a complete success, giving the impression that lionfish might be well accepted as a gourmet meal.

The community of Quetzalito is really looking forward to start commercializing lionfish as an economic alternative as they know they wouldn't be just earning income but collaborating with the reef ecosystem of their country. 

Now that Guatemala has joined the lionfish battle in the MAR region, a regional workshop is starting to be planned to develop a MAR strategy to face the lionfih invasion.  Individual and local measures have to be shared and expanded at a regional level.  Even when is not a warranty, It is the best way to address this issue.

We will keep you posted about this workshop and will let you know if Quetzalito becomes a lionfish supplier for Guatemala city.

Thank you very much for your support!

The MAR Fund Team

Lionfish ceviche served at the cook off
Lionfish ceviche served at the cook off
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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