Transparency and Fish Refuges in Mexico

Caribbean fishery. Photo by COBI

Oceans 5 supports Comunidad y Biodiversidad (COBI) and Causa Natura in a two-pronged approach to improve fisheries management in Mexico. Mexico has recently created several very large protected areas. However, these areas have multiple uses and most of Mexico’s exclusive economic zone is open to fishing. COBI has a long history of working with fishing communities to create fully protected marine reserves, and during the project COBI will promote the inclusion of science-based design principles and citizen science in the national fish refuge agenda, whilst continuing to increase the number of fish refuges created through bottom-up, participatory processes. Fish refuges foster the conservation marine habitat and fisheries resources—including the different stages such as reproduction, recruitment, migration, and growth.

A recent evaluation by the Superior Audit of the Federation highlighted that part of the problem of the persistent fishery deterioration in Mexico is that policies are poorly designed and monitored. This includes policy areas such as fisheries subsidies and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Causa Natura, through the use of open tools, web platforms and big data set analysis, will work with a community of stakeholders from government, researchers and civil society to increase transparency and accountability in these key areas of fisheries policy and decision making.

Oceans 5 will support this project for three years to improve management, transparency, participation and science-based decision making at the local and national level.