We are really excited to tell you that we have recently been working with the local NGO, Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI). They are a civil association dedicated to promoting the conservation of marine biodiversity in coastal communities of Mexico.
Recently COBI, along with small-scale fishers from six fishing cooperatives here in Quintana Roo, have established 16 no-take marine reserves covering 17,600 hectares to protect key species such as lobster and Nassau Grouper from overfishing. These sites were established in 2012 and 2013 and are showing promising results in terms of the recovery of the fish populations.
However, at the moment the impact of climate change is not being adequately assessed due to lack of suitable equipment. This is where you come in! We were able to use your donations to provide 5 HOBO environmental sensors for them to install in the area that they have been working in.
The donation of HOBO sensors to COBI and the fishing cooperatives will allow them to continuously monitor water temperature in the no-take zones. The sea surface height sensor installed on a grouper spawning site allows additional data to be collected that feeds into a regional model of genetic connectivity allowing the fishermen to understand where the eggs spawned by the fish go. This is very important as new protected areas need to use the most up to date science data possible to be placed in the correct areas where the juvenile fish develop.
It is also important to acknowledge that the local fishers are very involved in the project. During the past few years, different environmental phenomenon have affected the lobster fishery, and their involvement in the project increases their knowledge and understanding of climate change and overfishing, and how both could impact their livelihoods.
Thank you for your donations, which have made this project a reality!