New & Notable on www.eco-index.org: Conservation & Management Strategy for Marine Ecosystems in the Gulf of California

Managing NGO, country: Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI), México.

Project Director: Jorge Torre; Andrea Sáenz

Synopsis: Current fisheries management schemes focus on individual, commercially viable species, ignoring natural interactions between species and the functions that each species performs in the ecosystem. Hence, there is a need for fisheries management using an ecosystem approach and tools to implement this concept in protected marine reserves or non-fishing areas. In 2001, Comunidad y Biodiversidad began implementing such an approach in two protected natural areas in Mexico ‘s Gulf of California; Loreto National Park and Isla San Pedro Mártir Biosphere Reserve.

Annual budget & donors: $300,000 from Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza; International Community Foundation, United States; The Nature Conservancy; David and Lucile Packard Foundation, United States; Sandler Family Supporting Foundation, United States; US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Principal accomplishments: The abundance of species highly vulnerable to fishing has remained stable; in contrast, fishery zones have suffered a dramatic decline; through our outreach program, compliance with regulations has significantly increased; this project presents the first scientific results from a community experiment, applicable to all of Mexico; gave a theoretical-practical course to fishers and technicians from seven regions in northeast Mexico; initiated a technical and financial support program for local initiatives that promote this fisheries management strategy.

Anticipated Accomplishments: Continue monitoring of commercially important fish species to evaluate the effect of non-fishing in the core zones of the reserves; continue evaluating compliance with non-fishing regulations; continue monitoring fishery captures through community involvement; disseminate project results to fishing communities; propose new sites for inclusion as marine reserves; disseminate project design and strategy to decision-makers, conservation organizations, and organized groups in Latin America.

Contact: Bahía Bacochibampo s/N; Col. Lomas de Cortes; Guaymas, Sonora, 85450, México. tel: +52-622/221-2670; fax: +52-622/221-2671; jtorre@cobi.org.mx; asaenz@cobi.org.mx; http://www.cobi.org.mx.

Read more about this project in the Eco-Index: www.eco-index.org/search/results.cfm?projectID=834

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