Mesoamerican Race to Protect Parrotfish and the Reef http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2015/08/18/mesoamerican-race-to-protect-parrotfish-and-the-reef/
We are pleased to announce that our new 2015 Report Card is now available!
The 2015 Report Card for the Mesoamerican Reef is based on a new study of 248 coral reef sites along 1000 km of the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, which were monitored for living coral cover, fleshy macroalgal cover, herbivorous fish biomass (parrots and surgeonfish) and commercially important fish biomass (snappers and groupers).
Reviews and Comments on our 2015 Report Card:
“Given the growing scientific concern about coral reefs and the general decline in fish stocks globally – our measureable improvement in the condition of the Mesoamerican Reef, particularly fish populations, is encouraging”, says Dr. Melanie McField, Director of the Healthy Reefs Initiative / Smithsonian Institution.
“The exciting news that Guatemala has recently joined Belize and the Bay Islands of Honduras in banning the fishing of parrotfish is another critical step for the long-term conservation and recovery of corals on Mesoamerican reefs. Protecting herbivores of all kinds is critical to this endeavor. Congratulations to the Healthy Reefs Initiative for helping to promote this impressive effort, which I encourage other countries in the Caribbean to follow.” says Dr. Jeremy Jackson of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Smithsonian Institution.
“You must be doing something right, because here, there are plenty of reasons for hope. Cordelia Banks, off Roatán, Honduras, is one of the best places I have seen, even counting 50 years ago, an amazing stand with acres of staghorn coral.” stated Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder of Mission Blue.
“The science is clear that protecting parrotfish can help corals grow and maintain the high-quality reef habitat needed to support productive fisheries for the future. The Mesoamerican Reef has the potential to become the world’s first international ecoregion to protect parrotfish in all of its reef area.” says Professor Peter Mumby of the University of Queensland.