MARINE PROTECTED AREAS
What We Do.
We collaborate with local and international scientists and other key stakeholders on applied conservation research projects to assess marine fish species, support effective fisheries policy and governance, and to promote behavioral change for ongoing conservation management in The Bahamas and Caribbean.
Coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea, home to more life forms than any other habitat in the ocean. More than tourist attractions, coral reefs are architects, engineers and economic strongholds. They are the life source of our fisheries, and their underwater cityscapes protect coastlines from storm surges and hurricanes.
Alongside the Reef Rescue Network, PIMS aims to reverse the decline of coral reefs and reef species – such as Critically Endangered elkhorn and staghorn corals – throughout the Caribbean.
Mangroves provide habitat at a vulnerable stage in the life cycle of many fishery species. Human impacts including pollution and coastal development can adversely affect the functionality of these essential nursery areas. We work with conservation partners to assess and restore the condition of mangroves so that they can continue to support biodiversity, fisheries, and provide shoreline protection for coastal communities.
Seagrasses are home to many small creatures, including fish, sharks, turtles and manatees. Found in shallow water areas, seagrass beds are highly sensitive to changes in water quality, making them a key indicator of the overall health of a coastal ecosystem. Our team conducts rapid ecological assessments (REAs) of seagrass meadows to better inform the restoration and management of these vital ecosystems.
Marine Protected Areas
At PIMS, we monitor marine species, habitats, and ecosystems within the Bahamas National Protected Area System (BNPAS), which consists of 54 protected areas spanning 13 million hectares of both marine and terrestrial habitats, with 10% of nearshore marine ecosystems protected. We also provide scientific guidance for the creation, design and effective management of marine protected areas.
We create and manage coral restoration practices within organizations and businesses throughout The Bahamas and the Caribbean. Our goal is to help organizations and businesses see how coral restoration benefits the educational, recreational, economic and scientific agendas of the entire region.
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