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Collaborative monitoring and reporting help protect parrotfish and improve reef health in the Mesoamerican reef

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Collaborative monitoring and reporting help protect parrotfish and improve reef health in the Mesoamerican reef

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Presentation of Melanie McField (PhD), Founder and Director of the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), at the webinar "Herbivorous Fish to improve Coral Reef Health: Scientific and regional regulatory measure", held on June 25th, 2020.

Presentation of Melanie McField (PhD), Founder and Director of the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), at the webinar "Herbivorous Fish to improve Coral Reef Health: Scientific and regional regulatory measure", held on June 25th, 2020.

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Collaborative monitoring and reporting help protect parrotfish and improve reef health in the Mesoamerican reef

  1. 1. Melanie McField Patricia Kramer Ana Giró Mélina Soto Nicole Craig Marisol Rueda. Ian Drysdale Herbivory to Improve Reef Health Webinar June 25, 2020 Collaborative monitoring and reporting protect parrotfish and improve reef health in the Mesoamerican Reef
  2. 2. Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion Healthy Reefs Initiative rBegan in 2004 Report Cards on reef health Eco-Audits of management implementation Collaboration for catalyzing conservation solutions
  3. 3. espacios reducidos o cuando se presenten varios socios, que dificulte la pleto en piezas como: folletos, plegables, calendarios
  4. 4. Building scientific capacity over the last decade Purposeful Monitoring embedded in Management 256 database users 250 trained biologists 16 regional trainers certified 19 week long training courses in reef monitoring
  5. 5. www.healthyreefs.org Assessible Data in User-friendly Formats mapped, color coded, report ready
  6. 6. State of the Mesoamerican Reef 286 sites monitored 82 surveyors 26 organizations 16% critical 46% poor 29% fair 8% good 1% very good (Belize & Cozumel)
  7. 7. 19% MAR 17% Belize 20% MAR 19% Belize 729 g/100m2 MAR 824 Belize 2389 g/100m2 MAR 2744 Belize Just hit ‘good’ Mesoamerican Reef Stats 23 organizations evaluated 286 reef sites in 2018 75% parrotfish 25% surgeonfish
  8. 8. Reef health has declined for the first time in 12 years of monitoring Changes is Mesoamerican Reef Health Index 2389 g/100m21196 g/100m2
  9. 9. Belize Trends in Key Indicators Parrotfish protection ~5 years time lag for fish response ~ 8 years for macroalgae
  10. 10. Guatemala 12 year trends Parrotfish protection
  11. 11. México 12 year trends Parrotfish protection
  12. 12. Honduras Partial parrotfish protection Disputed election results & social unrest Eroded enforcement 12 year trends
  13. 13. Change in Parrotfish Biomass in Honduras: 2016 vs 2018 data in prep. For publication no change
  14. 14. Change in Commercial Fish Biomass in Honduras: 2016 vs 2018 data in prep. For publication no change
  15. 15. 7,373 fish 61 surveys 121 / survey 21,220 fish 256 surveys 83 / survey 75,138 fish 761 surveys 99 / survey 3,652 fish 22 surveys 166 / survey Parrotfish Abundance and Size Frequency by Depth all MAR sites all years
  16. 16. A Diverse Assemblage of Herbivores Can Best Decrease Macroalgae and Promote Reef Health ©Brian Sherry/NatGeo ©Michael Webster Region wide parrotfish protection Diadema urchin recovery King Crab enhancement Reduce nutrients and pathogen contamination Active restorationSpecies or Fisheries Protection Improve Wastewater treatment Reduce Agriculture and Livestock Runoff
  17. 17. Data is more straightforward than Policy Each country needs a different pathway to attain protection for parrotfish Use methods that work for your country
  18. 18. 2008 International Society for Reef Studies statement includes recommendation to protect parrotfish. 2008 HRI Report Card also recommends it – directly to Belize’s Prime Minister at the first launch event. Community based management and science - WCS / Glovers reef study showed parrotfish had become a big part of their fishery which helped gets fisher support. HRI Video plays on national TV – many NGOs promote this as part of the solution
  19. 19. Parroyfish slide Way to go Belize! 2009 Belize Protects Key Herbivores Parrotfish and Surgeonfish through a regulatory Fisheries SI HRI Presents this recommended management action to SIDS at the COP in 2010
  20. 20. Photo: Rachel Graham,WCS Be Ready for the Unexpected: Jamaican fish traps arrive in Belize in 2010 One country’s protection may be another’s $$ Opportunity
  21. 21. We Complimented Species protection with Gear Restrictions We Supported the Legislation with Education Education materials for Target Audience: Fishers and Public
  22. 22. Bay Islands National Marine Park First protection: 2004 (Ministerial decree) Complete protection: 2010 (MPA Declaration) 2010 Honduras Creates Large Bay Islands MPA protecting parrotfish – no spearfishing or fish traps. Final step of a IDB conservation project (PMAIB) Bay Islands Marine Park
  23. 23. First protection: 2012 (Municipal decree) Second protection: 2013 (Ministerial decree) Third protection: 2018 (Congressional decree) Complete protection: 2021? (Management Plan) Tela Bay Marine Wildlife Refuge A longer but more inclusive process – many community meetings & key local leaders
  24. 24. Working with fishermen and the fisheries department for over a year communicating the importance of herbivores on the reef such as parrotfish. Public consultation with fishermen. All participants (over 250) voted in favor of declaring a fishing ban for 5 years. Parrotfish protection was declared through the MinisterialAgreement 175-2015 Fishing ban for all species of Parrotfish for 5 years: 2015 - 2020. Guatemala 2015 - 5 year moratorium
  25. 25. 0 200 400 600 800 1000 2015 2018 Biomass of herbivorous fish g/100m2 What has happened since the declaration of the ban in 2015? Biomass of key herbivores increased from 433 to 873 g/100 m2 Although biomass has doubled, it is still in “Critical” condition. 1860 needed for ‘fair’ condition; 990 for ‘Poor” condition
  26. 26. Guatemala expande its protection for 5 more years 2020 – 2025 included more species: • Parrotfish–Labridae family • Surgeonfish- Acanthuridae family • Butterflyfish- Chaetodontidae family • Angelfish- Pomacanthidae family © Ana Giró © Ana Giró Protection declared through the Ministerial Agreement 23-2020
  27. 27. After years of Report Cards and strategic communication about the need to protect parrotfish in Mexico, 2 legislations now fully protect them using MPAs and ‘protected species” In 2018, fishing parrotfish (all species) has been prohibited by the management plan for the Biosphere Reserve of the Mexican Caribbean (CONANP), covering an important part of the mexican MAR In 2019, in collaboration with the Wildlife Direction (DGVS),CEMDA, CasaWayuu A.C. and Alianza Kanan Kay, 10 species of caribbean parrotfish were successfully added to the Protected Species List under the “special protection” category recognising their ecological importance. Fishing of these 10 speces is now prohibited in all the Mexican caribbean waters. ©Melina Soto Common name Scientific name Midnight Scarus coelestinus Blue Scarus coeruleus Guacamaya Scarus guacamaia Striped Scarus iseri Princess Scarus taeniopterus Queen Scarus vetula Red band Sparisoma aurofrenatum Red tail or Green Sparisoma chrysopterum Yellow tail Sparisoma rubripinne Stoplight Sparisoma viride MEXICO
  28. 28. For EACH species,We submitted a complete Evaluation Risk Method Study. Based on data, measuring each criteria: • Distribution of the species • Habitat state • Biological vulnerability of the species • Impact of human activity on the species For copies (in Spanish) contact Melina: Soto@healthyreefs.org
  29. 29. © Ana Giró What reef do we want? © Francesca Diaco © Ian Drysdale REEFS WITH HERBIVOROUS FISH REEFS WITHOUT HERBIVOROUS FISH © Ian Drysdale
  30. 30. www.healthyreefs.org mcfield@healthyreefs.org Healthy Reefs for Healthy People @HealthyReefs @HealthyReefsMX HealthyReefs ENFORCE environmental regulations CREATE more fish replenishment zones ENGAGE with private sector to support and incentivize sustainability 2020 Recommendations

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