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October2017

PezMaya,Mexico

FishermanAOWtrainingandcoralbleachsurveyingforhealthyreefsforhealthypeople

Objectives

Longtermtrainingoflocalpeople,strengtheningpartnerrelationshipsandcollectingdata
foractiveconservationwork.
ContributeintheannualsurveyforcoralbleachingeventsintheCaribbeanregion.

Summary

Thismonthhasbeenverysuccessfulforworkingtowardsourgoalswithcommunitymembersand
providingscientificdatatoglobaldatabases,meaningthatwecanhelptodevelopanoverallpicture
ofreefhealthintheCaribbean.

Report

Figure 1 Fishers in OW training

Thismonthwehadtheprivilegetowelcomeandtrain6fishersfromPuntaAllen,amongthem
weretwowomenwhoaremarinemonitorsthathavebeenparticipatingwiththeorganiza
tionCOBItomonitortheaggregationofgroupersandtheirfishingrefuges(Afishingrefuge
ornotakezoneisanareathatfishermandontfishin,theyallowittorecover).Thepeople
ofPuntaAllendecidedtotakecareandnottofishanymoreinthatareaallowingthefishand
otherspeciestoreproduceagain,allthisispossiblewiththeeffortfrommanyfishermanand
localpeopleworkingtogetherwithorganizationswhoeducateandinformpeopleaboutthe
benefitoftheserefuges.Thesesamepeoplewhocanseetheclearbenefittotheenvironment
andtothefishstocksactivelyenforcethesenotakezonesamongstthemselves.Asindividuals
andfishingcooperativesseethebenefitswiththeirowneyesthisnews,knowledgeandun
derstandingspreadstomanyotherfishermen.

GVI.2017.1


The6diversdidtheirAdvanceOpenWatertraininginPezMaya,intwogroups.Theywere
alwayslookingforwardtolearningandparticipatinginthedailyactivitiesinPezMayaandit
wasapleasuretohavethemonbase,informingusallontheirconservationeffortsandhow
usefuldivetrainingistothemandpartnerssuchasCOBI.After5divestheysuccessfullyfin
ishedthecourse.

ThisopensanamazingdoorforthemtogetmoreinvolvedwithCOBIandotherlocalorgani
zationstomonitorthehealthofthecoralreefsinPuntaAllenasinotherspartsofMexico.
Nowthenextstepthatwearelookingforwardtoistoprovidethemwiththerescuecourse
training asan extra skill, so they will have more knowledge and be safer while diving and
monitoring.

InOctober,weparticipatedinannualcoralbleachingmonitoring.Coralbleachingusuallyhap
pens when water temperature increases over longer periods, possibly because of climate
change.Overthelastfewdecades,coralbleachingfrequencyhasincreasedsignificantlyand
coralcoloniescannotrecoverinthisspeed.
We monitored thesame five dive sites as previous years PP10, PL10, SMDR10, BBC and
PJ10.WefollowedBelizeCoralBleachingResponse&ManagementPlanmethodology(Bar
Dropmethod).Eachofthesurveyorssampled67100coralcoloniesateachofthelocations
resultingintotalof200coralscoloniespersite,makingintotal1000coloniessampledinSian
KaanBiosphereReserve.
In these sites, most abundant scleractinian corals were of genus Porites, Siderastrea and
Undaria.


Figure 2 Orbicella annularis coral at monitoring site BBC

GVI.2017.1


Outof1000surveyedcoralcoloniesinfivesites,only18coloniesshowednormaltissuecolor,
thatisonly1,8%ofcoralsarenotaffectedbybleaching.Thesitewithhighestnumberofnot
bleachedcoralswereBBCwithatotalof50%coloniesfollowedbyPasoLgrimaswith48%
andSanMigueldeRuizwith40%.Palebleachingwasinrangeof2637%inallsiteswitha
highestnumberofpalebleachedcoralsinSanMigueldeRuiz(37%),butPasoJuanaandPedro
Pailashowedhighestpartialbleachingresults29%and31%.Overalltotalbleachingdidnot
goover6%rangeonthesemonitoringsites.Again,PasoJuanaandPedroPailashowedhigh
estbleachedcoralcolonynumbersoutofallfive(Fig3.).


Figure 3 Percentage of coral bleaching categories (Not bleached, Pale, Partially bleached and Bleached) on each of the
sites sampled in R.B Sian Kaan

GVI.2017.1