“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

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At Sea Level, the documentary

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The Caribbean is right on our doorstep. It shelters the second largest coral reef in the world and countless marine species. It’s beautiful. It’s fragile. The people of the Caribbean need our support to conserve it for all of us.

This is a short excerpt from the documentary in progress At Sea Level, Caribbean fisherfolk and the future of the sea. The film will tell the stories of fishers who are already leading conservation in their own words. These interviews were done at the Fisher’s Summit of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference.

Supporting Caribbean fisherfolk

I am not a scientist, nor an expert. I’m a person with a passion sparked by meeting a fisherman who inspired me to believe I could – and must – do something to help.

So. I’ve been rolling this around in my head for awhile — how can film help promote the leadership of fishers in marine conservation in a way that’s actually going to raise awareness and make something constructive happen in the world and particularly the ocean?

I passionately believe that film is important for its ability to move us. But my thoughts are with Dal and my roots are in marketing: Art is great. But there is an ocean of difference in raising consciousness and making things happen. So much of the important work that’s being done is local or regional: small projects, supported by small organizations. Who better to tell us what needs to happen in their places than the fishers?

I’d like to use the model of charity:water and make this site as a conduit to support fisher led conservation and maybe eventually a film. I’m still working on the logistics of that, so if you want to help in any way, stay tuned — or better yet, subscribe to the blog or find me on facebook or twitter.

While I’m in Montana, I’m editing videos from the fishermen we filmed in Venezuela. I get energized every time I hear from the fishers — they’re amazing people. I’ll be posting the edits shortly, so that’s yet another reason to subscribe.

And if you have ideas, please leave a comment.