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Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef

by Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund)
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef
Empowering Fishing Communities in the MAR Reef

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

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!

Five years have passed since the signing of the co-management agreement in Barras de Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge in Honduras.

After this time, several actions have been made, including the construction and equipment of fish collection centers in the fishing communities that are supporting and respecting the fish refuges established in 2010.

However, every commitment needs to sometimes make a break, evaluate its action lines and update and/or improve them.

This is exactly what Cuero y Salado Foundation (FUCSA) intendes to do with the co-management agreement during the coming months.  FUCSA has submmitted a proposal with, among others, the following activities:

  • to develop four working meetings among the co-management agreement signatories
  • to review the legal and technical frame of the agreement
  • to improve and strengthen the control and surveillance strategy
  • to monitor the fish extraction collected and stored in the fish collection center

We believe this is a very strategic and important step to take, as protected areas are such dynamic ecosystems, and financial resources as well as personal staff are fragile aspects in must Government organizations, conditions may have changed snce the signing of the agreement.

We encourage FUCSA and its partners to go ahead and begin this important process!

We also invite you to continue collaborating with us, in order to be able to support proposals like this in the future to other organizations that have wisely begin the co-management of fisheries resources road.

Thank you very much!

Banco Chinchorro and Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserves are marine protected areas in Mexico that declared three fish refuges with the support of the following Fishers Cooperatives: Langosteros del Caribe, Banco Chinchorro, Andrés Quintana Roo, Jose Maria Azcorra and Cozumel. This was done three years ago and since their inception on 2012, these refuges have been monitored once a year to learn about the ecological improvement they have had.

After at least four monitoring exercises (2012-2015), the results are encouraging.  Some of these are:

Banco Chinchorro

  • The total biomass of snappers and groupers has increased 217%
  • The coral reef cover also increased in around 8%

Sian Ka'an

  • The biomass of snappers increased 146% (there are larger fish)
  • The refuge protects the reproductive aggregation site for groupers 

It is because of results like these that we are happy for your support.  

We will keep you updated!

Guardhouse built and equipped in Cuyamel-Omoa
Guardhouse built and equipped in Cuyamel-Omoa

On January 29, 2015, the Grants Review Committee of MAR Fund gathered together in Guatemala City to evaluate and recommend fo approval the proposals that were submitted during the 7th Request for Proposals.

Cuerpos de Conservación de Omoa, the NGO that co-administrates the Cuyamel Omoa National Park, submitted the continuation of two previous successful and well-developed grants that began in 2013 with the objective to create a fisheries recovery site in the marine protected area. This new proposal is entitled 'Managing ecosystems and promoting economic alternatives in the area of fisheries recovery site PAMUCH'.  

To date, the project has achieved the following main results:

  • Fishers and authorities made a field visit to Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge to learn from their experience
  • Proposal of a 900 Hectares fisheries recovery site
  • Participative physical delimitation of the area by the fishers
  • Establishment of the baseline of biodiversity and abundance of fish
  • A guard house was built and equipped to ensure presence in the area 

This following phase will include the signature of the co-management agreement between authorities and fishers and the establishment of economic alternatives for the fishermen that árticipated in the initiative.

We are certain that with this support, CCO will consolidate all the efforts they have done and results will be shortly noticed.  We will be glad to share them with you!

 

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Organization Information

Mesoamerican Reef Fund (MAR Fund)

Location: Guatemala - Guatemala
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MAR_Fund
Project Leader:
Maria Jose Gonzalez
Executive Director
Guatemala, Guatemala
$3,368 raised of $90,000 goal
 
137 donations
$86,632 to go
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