Volume 65

Developing Management Tools to Enhance Efficiency of Marine Protected Areas management in Honduras

Narozanski, A., S. Box, and G. Stoyle
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Date: November, 2012

Pages: 221 - 226

Event: Proceedings of the Sixty-Fifth Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute

City: Santa Marta

Country: Colombia


The effective management of MPAs in Honduras has been hampered by a lack of appropriate tools to assist managers in making decisions and measuring the effectiveness of their actions. Three specific tools were developed to help marine park managers measure the status of their reefs, log details of infractions from illegal activities within the park boundaries and collate landing information from fishers. As online tools (available at www.ourfish.org), the information once entered is automatically analyzed and displayed as a set of clear outputs, available in real time. We tested this system with two marine parks in the Bay Islands Honduras. AGRRA data collected inside and outside two marine protected areas on Roatán and Utila found significant differences in the fish assemblages and greater biomass inside the protected areas. There was little variation in coral cover inside or outside either of the MPAs. The majority of animals confiscated from offenders during illegal activities were conch and lobster (70%) with an average of four conch and three lobsters removed per fisher. Illegal spearing targeted 33 species of reef fish, with snappers and grunts predominating. Seventy-two percent of offenders were from mainland Honduras, compared to Islanders who accounted for 23%. Tourists made up the remainder. These tools provide local park managers with detailed information on which to base focused management decisions by measuring the impact the park is having on the ecology of the area whilst also being able to pin point enforcement priorities and targets for further education and outreach work.

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