December 2012 GVI Mexico, Pez Maya GVI’s data used for Healthy Reef for Healthy People

Report Card In Mexico volunteers come to not only learn about the marine ecosystem but to gather data on the health of the reef. From fish and coral biodiversity to fish biomass, coral diseases and algae abundance, the data that the volunteers collect is really important to know how the reef ecosystems are on the north portion of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

Healthy Reef for Healthy people is an international initiative that produces user-friendly tools to measure, track and report on the health of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS). Their purpose is to contribute to improve the management of this important ecosystem.

Gathering all the data from the different regions of the MBRS, they generate report cards on the reef health, followed up with biennial Eco-audits that evaluate the implementation of the recommended management actions. These reports highlight three sections: existing and emerging threats to the reef health, assessment of the state of the reef and social context, highlights of reef conservation actions across the region, and some recommendations on how to have healthy reefs for healthy people.

Amigos de Sian Ka’an/GVI’s data, gathered by all the volunteers that participated in the Marine Conservation Expedition in Pez Maya and Mahahual in 2011 and 2012, was used on the last report presented in December 2012. Along Figure 1 Report card 2012 with Amigos de Sian Ka’an staff, the data was analyzed and sent to be part of this report. GVI’s monitoring sites were part of the 68 sites monitored along the Quintana Roo coast.

The analysis showed that 30% of the reefs around the area are in critical state, 40% in poor condition, 25% fair and only 5% are in good state. Therefore the need to continue working towards the conservation and recovery of this fragile and important ecosystem.

The publication was launched in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, and it is available on line at http://www.healthyreefs.org/cms/wpcontent/uploads/2012/12/2012Report-Card.pdf

Thank you very much to all the volunteers and their efforts on learning the species and the monitoring techniques, without your help this would not have been possible.
Figure 2 Volunteers monitoring fish

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