“We were hoping the fishers would propose one no take zone, instead they proposed four.” An interview with Claudio Gonzalez of MARfund

Claudio Gonzales of MARfund(right) with fishers in Honduras.

MARfund is an organization whose mission is to protect the Meso- american Reef, the second largest  in the world, a 700-mile long system off the Caribbean coastline of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. We spoke with Claudio in August.

On MARfund’s work with fishers:  In 2007 and 2008, MAR Fund, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI) organized workshops involving authorities, NGOs, academia and the fishermen in all 4 countries of the MAR region. Since then the fishers have been very interested in being involved in marine resources co-management. Continue reading

An Ocean Hero: Protecting Caribbean Marine Protected Areas

Head Warden CJ Jeffrey patrolling Moliniere-Beausejour Marine Protected Area (E. Doyle)

From Emma Doyle of the Caribbean Marine Protected Areas Management Network and Forum:

[St. George’s] (July 31, 2011) World Ranger Day is commemorated on July 31 by national parks around the world. In the Caribbean, let’s take this chance to honour the dedication and passion of the rangers and wardens who work in our region’s marine protected areas, such as a Head Warden from Grenada. Moliniere-Beausejour Marine Protected Area is considered to be home to some of the finest reefs in Grenada, and Head Warden ‘CJ’ Jeffrey tells us about the work that goes on to protect such a special area.

Most important to the wardens is ensuring that there are no illegal activities, especially spear-fishing, which is very destructive to the reef. “Marine protected areas play a vital role in helping provide refuges where fish can breed. The fish grow and fill the protected area, and because they’re territorial they then move out into the surrounding waters and help replenish nearby fisheries” CJ explains. Continue reading