Protect Marine Ecosystems in Mexico

 
$11,704
$1,296
Raised
Remaining

Dear Supporter, 

In order to contribute to reduce pollution, threats to the local fauna and to collect data on the composition of the marine debris that washes up on Pez Maya beach, a weekly cleanup is carried out by volunteers and staff. In the last three months of 2014, a total of 452 kg of rubbish was collected, adding up to a total of 2.3 tons of rubbish removed from the beach during the year.

The beach cleans take place on a weekly basis and 9 zones of 150 meters length each are monitored. The first zone starts in the mangrove mouth and the last one finishes at the southern point of Pez Maya beach.

Volunteers and staff members pick up all the debris that they find from the tide line to the vegetation line, this to avoid including waste created by terrestrial sources. All the debris is separated in 4 categories: Non-recyclable, Glass, Plastic bottles and Plastic bottle caps. After collecting it, the debris is weighted and the information is entered into the data base.A total of 452.75 kilograms of trash was removed from the beach, cutlery being the most abundant item (1846 pieces).  

It was a very successful year in which the team managed to clean more trash from the Pez Maya shoreline. Effective documentation and monitoring activities to assess the types and amounts of marine debris can help in the global reduction and abatement of the marine debris problem. Raising awareness about this problem is vital to encourage people to have environmentally friendly practices. 

Thank you for continuing to support this program.

All the best

GVI Mexico

Links:

Green turtle laying Chelonia mydas
Green turtle laying Chelonia mydas

Dear Supporter,

The turtle project is very busy at the moment with lots of turtle nests in San Juan and Yuyum Beaches. Every night we have approximately 8 turtles in San Juan and most nights two or three hatching nests. In Yuyum, during the inspection we had 5 or 6 new nests and about 8 to 10 nests to clean each week. 

During August we had found 199 nests of Chelonia mydas (Green turtle) and 68 of Caretta caretta (Loggerhead turtle) in San Juan, but on the 29th August when our partners helped out on a inspection in San Juan we found 136 extra nests and we cleaned more than 20, giving us a total of 403 nests in San Juan.

After the San Juan inspection, Flora Fauna y Cultura de México came back to base to help us with Yuyum, finding 76 nests and cleaning more than 15. Adding this to the 33 nests of Chelonia mydas and 20 of Caretta caretta that had been found before, we now have 129 nests in Yuyum.

With turtle season about to finish, we have had so far more than 2000 little turtles in our two beaches. We are very excited to see the final results of the season, and we feel very lucky to be able to contribute towards conserving the sea turtle species that nest it the region.

Thanks you for continuing to support this project.

All the best

GVI Mexico

Links:

Dear Supporter, 

One of the main objectives of Pez Maya marine conservation project is to collect data for the MBRS Synoptic Monitoring Program on behalf of our partners Amigos de Sian Ka’an (ASK) and CONANP. We train volunteers in four different MBRS methodologies, and when they complete their training they start to monitor. This quarter (April-June) we managed to complete five monitor sites for fish and coral.

Objectives

  • To continue with the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) Synoptic Monitoring Program in strategic locations in the north of Sian Ka'an reserve, to provide current information on the status of the reefs for management decisions.
  • To train participants in the expeditions in the MBRS methodology, through the identification offish, hard corals, invertebrates and algae.

The volunteers are trained in the four different methodologies of MBRS: Point Intercept method for percentage cover (PI), characterization of the Coral Communities (CC), and belt transect counts for defined fish species, adults and recruitments / juveniles. Volunteers go through extensive training both in and out of the water, learning Latin names for corals, conducting coral and fish identification tests, practice monitoring, sizing, laying lines, etc.  Training can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks depending on ability, logistics and weather.

Each quarter we aim to monitor as many sites as possible, and for the April to June quarter we were very happy that we managed to complete 5 out of 11 monitoring sites. It was really successful and a great occasion was when we had four different monitoring buddy pairs on one boat.

Results

For the April- June quarter a total 5 sites were monitored from 11 sites: Pedro Paila 05 (PP05), Pedro Paila 10 (PP10), San Miguel de Ruiz 10 (SMDR10), San Miguel de Ruiz 20 (SMDR20) and Punta Yuyum 20 (PY20). Both coral and fish transects were completed at these sites. 

PP05 presents a high predominance of algae cover (74.50%) and a low percentage of hard coral cover (7.33%).

The dominant fish family is Acanthuridae with 84.55%, this is due to the higher number of individuals of blue tangs, ocean and doctor surgeon fish, which are most common in the reef. Also these species often travel and feed in schools which makes their presence in the transect higher. 

All the sites were done for both coral and fish giving us a clear idea of what is happening on the reef. Thank you for supporting this cause, your donations make all the above happen!

Thank you

GVI Mexico

Links:

Dear Supporter,

As fishing conservationists here at Pez Maya, we are quite worried about illegal fishing over the world, so it was a huge disappointment and concern to find an illegal fishing net 50m long right on our front beach this week.

Driving the boat out to one of our many beautiful diving sites this week we spotted a huge net stretching across the mangrove mouth, the point where the freshwater lagoons join the sea. It was obvious that this was carefully placed and as fishing with nets is outlawed within the reserve it was obvious that there was something ‘fishy’ going on!

Staff member Brad donned his snorkel gear and went down to investigate. After snorkeling the length of the net he confirmed our fears that there were quite a few fish stuck in the net. The net was made of thousands of small squares with floats on top and weights on the bottom, designed to catch anything and everything that swam into it. We were slightly comforted by the fact that no turtles had been trapped in the net because turtle egg laying season has begun in the reserve, so many turtles are traveling to the beach each night.

We threw the anchor out and after Brad cut the ropes tying it down we began to pull the net into the boat, carefully cutting out any fish that were stuck in the net. By now we had a small crew in the water to take photos and videos. We were fortunate enough to save a lane snapper but sadly we had to cut out 5 dead fish which included a massive barracuda and tarpin.

By supporting this project, you are helping us to tackle this horrible issue of illegal fishing in the Yucatan pennisula so thank you!

All the best

GVI Mexico

Links:

Dear Supporter,

We’ve had some interesting sightings out on the reef this past month,  including a sighting of a large Loggerhead turtle, who when discovered came trundling out of its hidey hole to plod away in a hilariously cumbersome manner.  Just today, a 2.5m crocodile was spotted at the bridge to the entrance of the lagoon behind the GVI camp at Pez Maya. The GVI Mexico team have also seen gray nurse sharks and hawksbill turtles along with many lionfish.

The invasion of lionfish, native to the Indo-Pacific, into the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea is not only one of the most rapid in marine history but also having extremely detrimental effects to local species and ecosystems. While in their native habitat, lionfish breed seasonally, invasive lionfish in the Atlantic have been documented breeding all-year round. Lionfish are also generalist carnivores that can consume over 70 species of fish, up to half their own body length, including commercially, recreationally, and ecologically important species6. On heavily invaded sites, lionfish consume native fish at unsustainable rates. As such, food competition can also lead to depleting food sources for native carnivores. The data collected on this project is very useful for future planning of local control efforts and will hopefully be used to co-ordinate our future lionfish control efforts which, if implemented well, can control local populations and even generate income for local communities.

Thank you for continuing to support this project.

All the best

GVI Mexico

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Project Leader

Sophie Birkett

GVI Charitable Trust Manager
St Albans, Herts United Kingdom

Where is this project located?

Map of Protect Marine Ecosystems in Mexico