Shark fins identification workshop
Dear friends and supporters!
We hope your year is off to a great start.
It's great to see 2018 MAR Leaders employing the new skills and capacities that they received from the program in the implementation of their projects in the four MAR countries. They have been busy raising funds and working collaboratively with the local communities to promote sustainable fisheries and community development.
For instance, it took the shark team nine months of hard work to develop the National Condrict Action Plan of Guatemala (NCAP). The development of NCAP has been a collaborative effort with an intersectoral working group and DIPESCA (Department of Fisheries of Guatemala). They are now working on converting the document into a ministerial agreement to support and guide national actions. The final section of the NCAP contains three strategic recommendations that should be implemented in 2020 and will be reviewed in 2024. These recommendations include: 1) Formalize the NCAP through a ministerial agreement issued by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food. 2) The NCAP should be reviewed at least every five years. 3) Take into account economic alternatives for artisanal fishers in case management measures are implemented that worth the cessation of activity for a long time. The team is seeking funding to hire specialists in non-detriment findings (DENP) to help Guatemalan Authorities formulate their DENP. For the team, it was refreshing and certainly encouraging to have created, for the first time, an intersectoral working group to address the conservation and management challenges of sharks and rays in Guatemala (Photo 3. Shark fin identification meeting). The preamble to the Convention recognizes that international cooperation is essential for the protection of certain species of wild fauna and flora against excessive exploitation through international trade, and the urgency of taking appropriate measures to this end is also recognized. Photo 1: Shark fins identification workshop
The team of leaders from Mexico encouraged a group of 10 women to create a cooperative called "Women of the Sea" to promote nature tourism in the community of Punta Herrero in the Sian Ka ' Biosphere Reserve, which includes sustainable fishing, mangrove tours, and bird watching. The achievements so far include • A functional and operational organization of women (most of them wives of fishers), who, for the first time, make decisions and execute a community tourism project. • The project was launched in April 2019, and by July of the same year, the Women of the Sea received 180 tourists. This activity has provided them with an income to contribute to their family economy, support their children, and provide food, education, and health to their homes. • They received funding from governmental organizations that have been used to rehabilitate a dining area and a kitchen to prepare food for tourists. • They have participated in competitions that highlight women in conservation actions and the proper management of natural resources in their communities. Photo 2 Women of the cooperative Mujeres del Mar. MAR leader Mariela, as a spokesperson for the team, has been invited to participate in a series of forums and events where she has presented the work of Mujeres del Mar. In these events, Mariela received support and financing to consolidate the Cooperativa de Mujeres del Mar. "Leadership SAM has reinforced my professional performance with all the tools and knowledge shared by coaches and experts, said Mariela." Photo 3 Mariela and Sofi, founders of Mujeres del Mar.
The Belizean team is implementing a project that aims at establishing a legal framework for sustainable fisheries based on the rights of communities in marine / estuarine wildlife sanctuaries in Belize, developing a successful framework for community-based fisheries. The project engages the local fishermen as part of the new designation of the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS), which will improve the sustainability of the resources and may be replicated in other wildlife sanctuaries. In the long term, the local community will have a greater understanding and support for sustainable fishing initiatives. This project has supported the development of a Sustainable Fisheries Plan, which includes site-specific regulations and areas for fishing recovery, and it is aligned with the national Managed Access program. It is also promoting two sub-projects that will improve the income options of the Sarteneja community. For example, a new and unique tourist product that involves traditional fishers who take visitors to experience the daily life of a local fisherman. It also incorporates other ecotourism services, such as wildlife observation and traditional cuisine, with the active participation of wives and family members who are certified tour guides. Another subproject is a greenhouse agriculture pilot for family members of fishers in the Chunox community. The next steps are (1) validate and begin to implement the Sustainable Fisheries Plan, and (2) monitor and evaluate alternative projects. Once the plan has been approved, the team will monitor its execution. Photo 4. Fishermen from Corozal Bay Wildlife Santuary.
The team from Honduras is implementing the Garífuna SATUYE Tourism and Cultural Center, which will promote Tourism and Sustainable Economic Development for the Bay Islands National Marine Park (PNMIB). This project will establish a sustainable tourism model supported by the Garifuna community of Punta Gorda, promoting awareness and sustainable use of the reef jointly with the local municipality of Santos Guardiola, the Tourism Institute, and other entities involved. MAR Leaders developed an education and training program that was delivered to the community at the Cultural Center. Training workshops were held to strengthen local capacities that foster the creation of tourism microenterprises and increase community awareness about the importance of their culture and marine resources. Photo 5. Sustainable Economic Development in Bay Islands
The Guatemala Team is implementing the project for the creation of new market opportunities for fishery products associated with the mangrove ecosystem in the Sarstún River Multiple Use Area and Punta de Manabique Wildlife Refuge, Guatemala. The team has been following-up on the legalization of four groups of fishermen as cooperatives and raising their awareness on the management of the fisheries they use. In Río Sarstún they are working with: • The Committee of Artisanal Fishermen of San Juan. The renovation, equipment, and commissioning of the hydrobiological purchase and sale center were established. • With the fishing community of Buena Vista, an agreement was signed for the improvement of the management of the Tapon River, which is intended to protect from extractive fishing and turn it into a fish replenishment zone. It was also agreed to immediately establish a series of signs to warn visitors and accompany patrols with the authorities. • The Fishermen Committee of Barra Cocolí worked on the implementation of a community restaurant, as an economic activity complementary to fishing. • In the area ofthe Río Dulce National Park with the fishing community of Crique Jute, technical support and advice are being provided together with the National Commission of Protected Areas for the declaration of a fish replenishment zone.
Thank you for your donation that will help us to continue strengthening young leaders’ capacities and protect the reef through high impact projects.
MAR Leadership Team
Women of the cooperative Mujeres del Mar
Mariela and Sofi, founders of Mujeres del Mar
Fishermen from Corozal Bay Wildlife Santuary
Sustainable Economic Development in Bay Islands