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.
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!

Mar 12, 2012

No-take zones: effective recovery mechanisms!

Fish stock recovered within no-take zones
Fish stock recovered within no-take zones

After only two years of the Community Fisheries project’s implementation in the Arrecife de Puerto Morelos National Park, Mexico, fish stock has shown an admirable recovery inside the established fisheries recovery sites (fish refuges or no-take zones).

Fishermen are very happy, because they have begun witnessing how spillover from recovery sites is filling their fishing grounds again, and their fish catch is increasing.

The most important outcome of this process is that the fishermen are not only taking advantage of the spillover, but since they continue to monitor inside and outside the no-take zones, they can see the difference between the two.   

Now, with proof on their minds, and convinced that no-take zones are a viable solution for coastal fisheries within Protected Areas, they can share this information with other fishing communities that are still not convinced of the effectiveness of this method.

We are designing exchange visits to other communities so that our Community Fisheries Program can grow and we can create a network of community marine reserves (no-take zones) across the MAR region.

Please continue supporting us to help us achieve this goal and spread this practical fisheries recovery solution!  

Puerto Morelos has healthy ecosystems again
Puerto Morelos has healthy ecosystems again

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