After three successful workshops, where expectations were exceeded in almost every way, the results started showing almost immediately.
In Puerto Morelos, México, the Fishing Cooperative, has been working with the National Park Administration designating no take zones. This will be one of the two community marine reserve pilot projects that the MAR Fund will develop this year, thanks to your generous support and that of AVINA Foundation.
In addition, three fishing communities sharing the same fishing grounds in a coastal-marine protected area of Honduras will initiate work towards establishing a community marine reserve. The marine protected area is the Wildlife Refuge of Cuero y Salado, and the communities located there are: Salado Barra, Boca Cerrada and La Rosita. The first two of these are located inside the marine protected area and the last one is outside the refuge boundaries.
We are very excited about the awareness that the first three workshops generated in fishing communities and the coastal and marine protected areas, and we are sure that more fishing groups will join the community marine reserve initiative. The funding that is being raised through Global Giving and other donors will go to supporting these two and other fishermen's projects in the four countries of the Mesoamerican Reef.
The last workshop took place in Punta Gorda, Belize, on august 25-27, 2008. Thirty-one people participated in this workshop; five groups of fishermen were represented. These were Placencia, Punta Gorda, Riversdale, Monkey River and Hopkins.
Other participants included the Environmental Defense Fund, the Fisheries Department, and several NGO’s.
The methodology was the same as in the first three workshops, and the fishermen were also very interested in participating in this type of co-management mechanism.
We look forward to supporting other groups of fishermen in the process of establishing fisheries co-management mechanisms and no take zones and to keep you posted on our advances.