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.
Aug 26, 2011

Fisheries co-management in Punta de Manabique

Puerto Barrios co-management approval meeting
Puerto Barrios co-management approval meeting

The three fishing communities that are involved in the co-management project within La Graciosa Bay; La Graciosa, Laguna Santa Isabel and Punta Gruesa have achieved interesting advances and are walking the right way on their co-management project in Guatemala.

The co-management area and the three no-take zones proposed by these fishing communities were discussed with the fishermen of Puerto Barrios, another fishing community that fish within La Graciosa Bay. Five representatives from Puerto Barrios went on a boat ride to confirm the location of the proposed areas and confirmed and jointly approved them.  They all agree that the proposed no-take zones are among an important reproductive site within the Bay. This was a very important step for the project because there used to be rivalry between these groups for the fishing resources inside the Bay, but now they all have realized that the only way to preserve them is to stand for them together. This way, all fishing effort dependable is involved in and compromised with the project.

La Graciosa Bay neighbour fishing communities have started to show interest in the co-management initiative and they want to know more about how it works and what the benefits this will bring to fishing resources, therefore, to fishermen, are.

We are confident that next update will tell you more good news and progresses about this project.  Thank you all again for your priceless support!  

Jun 13, 2011

The current lionfish invasion within the MAR reef

The exotic Lionfish (Pterois volitans) has invaded the Mesoamerican reef. This species is a predatory venomous fish that has no natural predators in the Caribbean, so it can significantly reduce biodiversity of the local habitat. It can drive important fish species to extinction, negatively affecting the MAR reef ecosystem and reducing the income to the coastal communities that depend on sustainable fishing activities within the region.

There are several local initiatives trying to control the lionfish. However, we need to embrace it and treat it as a regional issue in order to obtain a real impact on its population management.

Attached you will find a couple of videos that are being promoted by two entities: the Healthy Reef Initiative and the Roatan Marine Park. The first one shows a technique to train MAR reef native species to eat lionfish. The second one is promoting the lionfish fillet for human consumption.

Both initiatives are very worthy as control and management strategies; but it must be clear that lionfish cannot be consider a part of the MAR reef biodiversity or an income source to its fishing communities under any circumstance. Since it’s a terrible threat not only to other fish but crustaceous, coral species and even humans, it is imperative that its population decreases as much as possible.

I take this opportunity to invite you to donate and participate during GlobalGiving Bonus Day on June 15th! During that day and only that day GlobalGiving will match all donations at 30% up to $US1,000 per donor per project. There will be funds available in matching funds only during June 15th. Only on-line donations are eligible for matching. We encourage you to made donations in early, because matching funds will likely run out before the end of the day.

Thank you very much for supproting this initiative! The fishing communities within the MAR reef and its entire ecosystem appreciatte it the most!

Links:

May 31, 2011

Moving forward to regional fisheries co-management

Fishermen proposing no-take zones to authorities
Fishermen proposing no-take zones to authorities

We are very excited that our first two pilot projects have had great results and impacts and still on the right track. Now, with our third pilot project on its way, we are convinced that we will get even more satisfactory results.

In Honduras, a co-management action plan for the fishing territories was prepared jointly by APROCUS and FUCSA. FUCSA has awarded APROCUS the administration of an ecological camping site, and is also looking to support the implementation of the action plan developed.

In Mexico, the Puerto Morelos Fishing Cooperative submitted a proposal to modify the Management Plan to expand an existing marine reserve (no-take zone) and to add a new fishing ground. The proposal was accepted. CONAPESCA, the Mexican fisheries authority is extending its patrol activities (with fuel, boats, personnel) to include the no-take zones that the Cooperative is monitoring.

The Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge co-management project in Guatemala, which involves three fishing communities within the La Graciosa Bay is moving forward. A co-management area and three no-take zones have already been proposed by the fishing communities. The legal departments of each organization involved in this process (CONAP, DIPESCA and MARN) will evaluate the proposal and the best legal choice to support it.

I take this opportunity to invite you to donate and participate during GlobalGiving Bonus Day on June 15th! During that day and only that day GlobalGiving will match all donations at 30% up to $US1,000 per donor per project. There will be funds available in matching funds only during June 15th. Only on-line donations are eligible for matching. We encourage you to made donations in early, because matching funds will likely run out before the end of the day.

Thanks to your invaluable support, our Community Fisheries Program is extending, and we are moving towards establishing a community marine reserves network within the region.

Co-management workshop with fishermen
Co-management workshop with fishermen
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