By María José González - Executive Director MAR Fund
As part of the activities to support fishers in the Mesoamerican Reef, the first in a series of four workshops on ecosystem-based management of fisheries and community marine reserves was offered from 3 to 6 December, 2007. This first workshop took place in Puerto Morelos, Mexico.
The workshop was designed and organized jointly with the Mexican NGO Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI). Participants included representatives from six fishing cooperatives, fishing and protected area authorities, academia, and local and international NGOs. The activities involved initial exercises to design networks of community marine reserves (similar to no-take zones) in the cooperatives' fishing concessions.
Participants were very pleased with the information that was provided and with the results of the exercises. They committed to taking the information to the rest of the cooperative members for follow-up.
The remaining three workshops will be organized, also with COBI, in Belize, Guatemala and Honduras throught the first semester of 2008.