Dedicated to protecting the world’s five oceans.

Projects

Reef fish conservation

Oceans 5 supports the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense
(AIDA), a regional nonprofit organization that works in the Americas using
international environmental law to protect sensitive ecosystems and the people that
depend on them. This three-year project seeks the legal protection and effective
management of herbivorous fish and fish spawning aggregations in six countries to ensure the conservation of coral reefs and the marine organisms they sustain.
Parrotfish and other herbivorous fish are present wherever healthy coral reefs are
found, keeping them healthy by feeding on the algae that compete with corals for
oxygen, light and space. Despite their importance, overfishing and the inadequate
regulation of fisheries threaten these key species. Various studies have found that
Caribbean reefs, where the most significant decrease in parrotfish populations has
occurred, are being suffocated by algae; in areas where the recovery of parrotfish
has taken place, coral versus macro-algae coverage has improved significantly. The
protection and recovery of parrotfish proves to be essential for coral reefs to
survive and adapt to rising ocean temperatures and acidity.
The project will focus on supporting communications and legal advocacy for
ecosystem-based management to conserve herbivorous fish and fish spawning aggregations in
Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Colombia and Panama. AIDA will work to
educate national and international decision-makers and encourage the creation of
legal protections for these fish and better manage fisheries to sustain healthy ocean
habitats.

Parrotfish. Photo by David Sanford

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