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.
Mar 20, 2013

Lionfish also hunted in Guatemala!

During the month of April, Guatemala will celebrate the Second 'Festival of the Sea' in Puerto Barrios, Izabal.

Many activities are being proposed for this popular event, including: a sand statues sculpture tournament and a wall painting tournament, music, aquatic activities, stands of information on: climate change, mangroves, fisheries, use of water, etc.

For the last day of the event, the fisheries authority and a fishing community of the Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge are organizing a lionfish rally.  They are planning on dividing the rally in two phases:

  • Catch of lionfish, and
  • Lionfish cooking demonstration

This shows that fishing communities from Guatemala have already identified the lionfish as a plague and want it out of their fishing ground, as this fish represents competition for them.

The initiative is also telling us that they are aware of the potential that the lionfish has as a food alternative, as long as it is handle it with the respective caution.

Do you think a rally is a good start for the Guatemalan fishermen?

Thanks for your support,

Tha MAR Fund Team

Mar 20, 2013

Co-managers moving forward!

Now that the fishing communities from La Graciosa Bay, Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge, Guatemala, are taking their role as co-managers, they began by identifying action lines that they should work on, in order to empower themselves as resources managers.  The action lines identified were:                     

  • Participation of and coordination with key actors in Management Processes
  • Human capital formation
  • Effective management
  • Scientific information for the assessment and monitoring of impacts
  • Communication
  • Ecosystems connectivity

They are also working in the identification of needs of the protected area and its natural resources.  They have also designed the Action Plan for the fisheries recovery sites and are now socializing it with all the communities before beginning its implementation.

It has been a long and hard way to obtain the official involvement of fishers in the co-management process, but we are walking the right way on achieving the natural resources recovery through the participation of stakeholders, who after all are the main users of this resources.

Do you agree with me?

Thank you very much,

The MAR Fund team

Dec 20, 2012

Simple techniques to estimate lionfish population

According to the Report Card 2012 for the Mesoamerican Reef of the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), there are two important and disturbing facts about lionfish:

  • Lionfish are larger and more abundant on invaded reefs than in their natural habitat, and
  • Lionfish are always in season 

At their own rythm and possibilities, Fisheries and Protected Areas Authorities within the MAR have taken management actions that can decrease the extent of the lionfish invasion.

Also, as mentioned in our previous update report, Eloy Sosa PhD, from El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR) in Chetumal, Mexico, has developed a protocol that includes two simple methodologies to estimate lionfish population.

Fishing tournaments

These have become a very successful activity and widely accepted among authorities, civil society and the general community. The distinct advantage of these tournaments is that achieve multiple objectives simultaneously. In particular, being open mode activity to the local community and even tourists, fishing tournaments can be exploited for the purpose of environmental education and awareness, also capturing intense concentrated in an area bounded by what cause a real decline in lionfish abundance locally, at least for a while.

Depletion experiments: short-term successive captures

This method involves removal capture experiments or applied successively in a short period of time, with two to five successive occasions applied capture a set of stations or sub-areas within a selected target area in advance. In this case it is particularly critical that the experiment is short-term, that the whole series of successive catches check within five to seven days. This section considers a week: seven days, maximum duration of the experiment and a number of two to five times or successive revisions-with catching fish.

We will be happy to share with you the results of these two techniques as soon as any of them is being implemented in the MAR region. 

Once again, we would like to thank you for your constant support to face one of the main threats the measoamerican reef has these days.

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