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.
Mar 30, 2016

Systematizing the MAR Fund Fisheries Program

In 2009, with your support, we began our Community Fisheries Program in the Mesoamerican Reef region.  Now, after six years of good results, we decided to develop a document to let everybody know about the efforts fishers, NGOs and protected areas and fisheries authorities have done to accomplish what we have.

With the support of an expert, we are currently developing this document and will soon share it with you so you can visualize the progress your support has had in time.

While the report is finished, we can go ahead an tell you that, only in the Gulf of Honduras, which includes a portion of the Caribbean coast of Belize and Honduras, and the entire Caribbean coast of Guatemala, we have supported the proposal/maintenance of twelve fish recovery sites: one in Belize, six in Guatemala and five in Honduras.  These twelve initiatives have covered the following protected areas:

  • Port Honduras Marine Reserve, Belize
  • Río Sarstún Multiple use Area, Guatemala
  • Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge, Guatemala
  • Cuyamel Omoa National Park, Honduras
  • Barras de Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, Honduras

Out of these twelve fish recovery sites, nine have been legally/oficially declared by the authorities, and the remaining three are pending of their declaration.  

Although there are still some proposed areas pending to be declared as recovery sites, the most important achievement of these initiatives is the commitment and involvement of the fishers, who are already respecting and protecting these sites, as they recognize the importance of preserving the natural and fish resources.

We wanted to share this information with you, as you have been a key part for this Program to become what it is today.

Thank you!

The MAR Fund Team

Mar 29, 2016

Lionfish assessment continues in Belize

In Belize, with participation from biologists who underwent training in June last year, in-water surveys to determine lionfish density and biomass as well as lionfish threshold density on coral reefs in South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Port Honduras Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve were conducted. Consultancies with experts have occurred for survey design, methods development, analyses and modelling of fish communities to develop target lionfish densities at 50 sites across Belize. These data are now being used to prepare lionfish management plans for each protected area as well as to feed into the lionfish stock assessment model and national control strategy. The final model to project changes in structure and biomass of both the in-water lionfish population and landed catch is under development.

A post-graduate student from Colorado State University started working as a social scientist with Blue Ventures in Belize to prepare and carry out the economic viability assessment. 

Lionfish information and taster booths were held at Caye Caulker’s Ocean Academy, the Belize Game Fish Association fair in Belize City and Sarteneja’s Community Day. Classes about the lionfish invasion with standard five classes at two schools in stakeholder communities of South Water Caye Marine Reserve are scheduled to take place during Belize Reef Week 2016 (7-14 March).

It is great to achieve these type of events thanks to your generosity and collaboration.

We will keep you posted on future events!

The MAR Fund Team

Dec 29, 2015

Strengthening the network of fish refuges

As a strategy to move forward on a sustainable way with the network of fish refuges in the Gulf of Honduras, the Tri National Alliance for the Development of the Gulf of Honduras, with the support of the MAR Fund, is carrying out a project that will formally invlove youth in better fishing practices in the Gulf of Honduras.

Some of the activities developed so far are:

  • The four targeted fishing communities were visited and the young participants were selected.
  • A diagnostic of the communities to determine their current involvement in the development and support of the network of fish refuges has been carried out with the designed methodology.
  • The training modules in environmental education and natural resources, and in fishing regulations for youth have been prepared jointly with San Carlos University students, who will provide support and follow up during the training process.

As the youth represent the future for the natural resources, we are certain that this project will have great results that will reflect on the improvement and enlargement of the network.

We will keep you posted!

 
   

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