Mesoamerican Reef

Mesoamerican Reef

Fisher spears a lionfish

The lionfish has transformed into one of the biggest threats to marine life in the Atlantic Ocean, where it was accidentally introduced in the late 1980s…. Read More »

Children with art display

Plastic pollution isn’t new to the Bay Islands of Honduras. On the three largest islands­ – Roatán, Utila, and Guanaja – locals have recognized its negative effects on their environment. At the same time, it has become so common that it is often invisible. Think Beyond Plastic, an innovation accelerator, is pioneering a unique approach… Read More »

Cozumel beach

The island of Cozumel has no shortage of attractions. About 20 miles from the northeastern coastline of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, Cozumel is surrounded by coral reefs, rimmed by ivory beaches, and covered with forests and wetlands that are home to endemic species. The problem is that Cozumel is visited by more than… Read More »

MAR Leadership 2015 cohort

José Domingo Caal, a native of Izabal on Guatemala’s vibrant Caribbean coast, has dedicated his work to improving the local livelihoods and conserving the natural resources of his home region. A founding member of the Mayan Association for Rural Wellbeing in the Sarstun Region, José Domingo works to raise awareness of the link between environmental… Read More »

Mayan workers monitor shrimp in Belize.

In the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) countries of Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, agriculture is vital to the national economy. While less important in Mexico, it still accounts for 4% of the gross domestic product. Yet commercial agriculture (“agribusinesses”), located in the watersheds that drain into the Caribbean, present a dire threat to the health of the… Read More »

This 13-minute video raises awareness about the damage caused by gillnets in Belize and how traditional gillnet fishers are increasingly joining sports fishers and others to support its ban. … Read More »

A growing number of shrimp farms in Belize is now under Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification, adding up to 10,000 tons of sustainably produced shrimp to the marketplace while reducing effluents that impact the reef ecosystem…. Read More »

This 4-minute video explains why it makes economic sense to think of fish refuges as “piggy banks” of the ocean. It is part of a campaign to promote fish refuges in the Mesoamerican Reef and gain support from fishers and government officials for the target of establishing 20 percent of the reef ecoregion as no-take zones…. Read More »

This 9-minute video explores the launch of the OurFish App in Honduras, a digital reporting system that enables fishing communities to monitor the amount, type, and location of fish being caught…. Read More »

Whale shark

Central America has banned shark finning—the practice of removing a shark’s fins and discarding the animal in the sea—but the consumption of shark and ray meat continues. In Honduras, shark fishing is banned throughout most of the country, and in Belize there is limited consumption of shark meat. However, demand for shark fillet across the… Read More »