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.
Oct 17, 2011

Give the MAR reef fishermen a chance to be heard

Dear friends,

The 64th Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) meeting will be held in Puerto Morelos the first week of November 2011.

This will be a great opportunity for our MAR fishermen to be heard and to meet scientists and researchers who can support the work they are doing in the region.  They will also learn about successful projects that can be replicated in the region.

We did the math and estimate that the costs for one fisherman to attend the meeting are at least US$2,500.  This includes flights, ground transport, registration and lodging.

This Wednesday, October 19, is a great day to support us to get as many fishermen as we can to this important event, as GlobalGiving is giving away US$100,000 during the final Bonus Day of the year!  During this day and only this day, GlobalGiving is matching at 30% all on-line donations, up to US$1,000 per donor per project. In addition to the 30% match, GlobalGiving is offering a $1,000 bonus to the project that raises the most funds that day and a $1,000 bonus to the project that receives donations from the most individual donors! Please consider donating this Wednesday so that your donation will go even further.  The number of fishermen we can send to the GFCI meeting depends directly on you!

Please, don't let this amazing opportunity pass by!   Thank you very much for your continued support!

Sep 14, 2011

The lionfish control efforts have begun!!

Lionfish can be found everywhere these days in the MAR region. In Roatan, Bay Islands Complex, Honduras, for example, you can find it as soon as you hit the water right under any dock or hiding in mangrove roots. It can also be found two hundred feet below the water surface. 

As part of the control campaign activities, the Utila Center for Marine Ecology (UCME) and the Roatan Marine Park (RMP) have delivered informative workshops to the population in general in the islands. Topics like the threat, biology, distribution and habits of lionfish have been covered so that people know what they are dealing with.

Now, people are aware that lionfish have over 15 venomous spines, they can survive for 12 weeks with no food because their stomachs can expand to 30 times its regular size, have a taste for shrimp, lobster and lots of kinds of fish, have a lifespan of 5 – 10 years and can reach 42 cm in length.  They reach sexual maturity at 1 year and can produce 30,000 eggs at a time.

We understand that eradication is highly improvable. However, we can make an effort to control it and to keep dive sites as free of lionfish as possible. UCME and RMP are preparing a series of training workshops to address NGOs, authorities and fishermen and to explain the most common capture method.

To do this, we need to raise at least US$ 1,500 to prepare all the needed material and equipment. We are confident that with your support and collaboration, we will be able to prepare and develop these workshops.  Thanks so much!

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!  

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