The Gulf of San Miguel contains 17 percent of all the mangroves found in Panama and thus is an important nursery habitat and home to marine and fish life critical to the ocean ecosystem and to the artisan fisheries of the area. Poor sewage and solid waste management, unsustainable fishing practices, deforestation, and poaching are some of the problems adversely affecting the gulf. EcoLogic partners with five local communities to strengthen local fishing organizations, provide low impact fishing gear, improve alternative livelihood opportunities, and advocate for the establishment of a federally protected zone within the gulf.
In the past few months, EcoLogic has realized several activities in support of our goals towards a "Healthy Gulf". We have hired a local technician to gather and analyze information on a monthly basis about fish catch by local fisherfolk. In additon, we provided training on how to maintain a record of the type and quantity of fish and marine products – noting species and poundage – fishermen are harvesting from the gulf. This will help us form a baseline in combating the problem of mismanagemnt of the fisheries. We have also provided trainings to three fisherfolk associations in fisheries law and sustainable fishing practices.
We continue to carry-out waste managment plans in partnership with the comunities and are working with the local people to reforest degraded areas as well as implement agroforestry as a overall holistic approach to our conservation efforts. The construction of a tree nursery is nearly completed and will hold 10,000 trees for reforestation and agroforestry. Finally, with help from our generous supporters, we have been able to purchase a vehicle so that these communities can properly dispose of waste instead of dumping it into the water or on the beaches.
Thank you for your help. However, there is so much more to do, I hope you will continue to support these efforts in the months to come.
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