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 10, 2012

Punta de Manabique, mission accomplished !!

Bahia La Graciosa fishing co-management map
Bahia La Graciosa fishing co-management map

We are very happy to share with you the exciting news that on July, 2012, the first fishing co-management agreement between authorities and civil society was signed in Guatemala.

Now, fishermen of the four communities from Bahía La Graciosa and Puerto Barrios will share responsibilities with the authorities to protect and preserve their fishing resources inside the bay. The agreement consists in providing the fishermen a co-management area and three fisheries recovery sites.

This remarkable event was taken as an example for other fishing communities of the Guatemalan Caribbean.  They are all waiting to see the results that the fisheries recovery sites will bring - more fish.

Although the agreement is already signed, there is a lot of work to do. Fishers and authorities have to design and implement an action plan for the co-management area and the recovery sites. This consist on meetings, paper work, designing of monitoring methodologies, capacity building, equipment, etc.

We are certain that with your help we will be able to support this extraordinary group of persons that only want to ensure fishing resources in a sustainable manner for their children.

Thanks for all your support!

Authorities and fishers showing the agreement
Authorities and fishers showing the agreement
Jun 11, 2012

New lionfish protocol

After evaluating the current process for obtaining the license to hunt lionfish, staff rom the Roatan Marine Park (RMP), Honduras, has identified the need for better control over the sport to reduce the amount of damage to the sorrounding environment and spear holders alike.

The RMP offers now a recognized license to spearfish lionfish that is valid for two years.  For this, the interested person must sign a Memorandum of Understanding o fulfil the Honduran law, will learn spearing techniques and lionfish history.

Snorkelers can get licenses and will have to sign all agreements stated by the Fisheries Administration (DIGEPESCA, Spanish acronym).  They will be issued a different format of license and if they wish upgrade to a diving one they will have to go through the bouyancy check.

Vacationers will have to do the same as everyone else but when tehy return their spear they will receive a $10 rebate and the spear will be recycled into the local fisherman education program.

If the person has its own spear, the cost of the license will be of $20, if not, it will be of $40.

The license is property of the RMP and is issued on behalf of DIGEPESCA.  To renew the license, an accuracy workshop will be necessary.

Please keep helping us to train more people on the lionsih hunting the right way!

Jun 11, 2012

Punta de Manabique, ready for co-management!

After fifteen months of efforts and hard work, three fishing communities of La Graciosa Bay and one from Puerto Barrios, Izabal, and the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP; Spanish acronym) have reached the point of signing the co-management agreement for three fisheries recovery sites and a co-management area.

If everything goes well, this will be the first agreement of its kind in Guatemala, and will open the door for other many fishing communities that are interested in these kind of initiatives, but were pending to see how the La Graciosa project turned out.

The most valuable and rich outcome from this process has been the consisting interest from the fishing communities. They have never stopped fighting to implement the fisheries recovery sites, and they stopped fishing inside of these areas even when they didn't have any official tool to support them, as the agreement.

At least two more fishing communities in Guatemala are requesting support to begin their own co-management proposal, as they are clear that the fishing resources are decreasing, and the only way to preserve them is to get involved in its management.

We are very grateful for your support and we need more of it to consolidate more successful initiatives like this one!

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