Fisheries Research & Conservation

Fisheries

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Habitat Monitoring & Restoration

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Stakeholder Engagement, Communication & Outreach

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Marine Resource Management & Conservation

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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.

Our goal is to create sustainable fisheries and healthy ecosystems that support biodiversity, livelihoods, ecosystem services.

Fisheries

Many commercially important fish species - like the Nassau grouper - are under threats that endanger their long-term viability. We seek to better understand how these species behave within their habitats, and assess the impact human intervention is having on marine populations.

For example, in the name of mating and courtship, groupers and snappers congregate in large schools of hundreds to thousands of fish every year to reproduce. We closely monitor these massive gatherings, called Fish Spawning Aggregations (FSAs). Specifically, we use FSAs to assess fish population health and uncover how we can preserve these species for decades to come.

You can help! Did you see a Fish Spawning Aggregation while you were on the water? Report it here.

Habitat Monitoring & Restoration

When designed properly, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) helps us manage and replenish fisheries, protect marine ecosystems, and building coral reef resilience. To this end, we work with local partners to develop ecological and socioeconomic criteria for designating MPAs for the Mesoamerican Reef, as well as The Bahamas. We also conduct rapid ecological assessments to develop management plans and evaluate MPA efficacy in The Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean.

Stakeholder Engagement, Communication & Outreach

Science-based management is not enough. Communication and outreach are essential to affect behavioral change that supports policies aimed at protecting fisheries – like Nassau grouper and parrotfish - ecosystems and ensuring food security. We also work with local governments, non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners and relevant stakeholders to provide guidance  for the creation or refinement of fishery regulations, marine spatial planning, monitoring and ecosystem-based management.

Marine Resource Management & Conservation

We aim to increase public awareness regarding the need for improved conservation management of fisheries and marine resources. Specifically, we’re investigating the emerging parrotfish fishery in The Bahamas and its impact on reef health. What’s more, we’re developing sustainable harvesting strategies of Antillogorgia elisabethae, a gorgonian soft branching octocoral that is used extensively by cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries because of its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.

Research

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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Reef Rescue Network