Regional MPA capacity building:

Second Mesoamerican Reef Connectivity Workshop


Applying Bio-physical Monitoring and Capacity Assessments to Mesoamerican


This project supports the International Coral Reef Conservation Program’s goals and the development of an ecologically and socially functional network of marine protected areas in the Caribbean region focusing on the Mesoamerican reef at an ecosystem-scale of management and conservation.



Establishing partnerships across the Mesoamerican Caribbean region that complement management expertise with scientific data is essential for ecosystem-scale assessments. This project focuses on the source/sink dynamics of larval reef fish production and transport and its importance to the long-term management of resilient coral reefs. Merging these tools with capacity building workshops in the wider Caribbean will help to establish a framework for creating international networks of MPAs.


The Wider Caribbean has been targeted for supporting regional efforts to conserve coral reef ecosystems through existing initiatives and partnerships. To this end, we collaborate with existing regional capacity-building initiatives such as the MAR Fund to achieve the project objective of supporting management goals.




In support of the research priorities/goals identified in the MPA Capacity-Building Mesoamerican Reef Connectivity Workshop (May 2010 – ECOSUR) by the 13 MPA network managers and 30 stakeholder, the project action plan was developed to convene a training workshop to ...


1) Standardize methodologies and combine already existing capacity and local expertise in ichthyoplankton & coastal oceanographic data collection for MPAs in the network.


2) Incorporate training in early life history research to include age/growth & coastal oceanographic patterns in support of existing projects (ECOSUR/NOAA) and other strategic regional initiatives by MARfund


3) Coordinate & make available basic oceanographic & larval diversity/abundance maps, tools & products as they pertain to the four priority goals established in the workshop in 2010 for use by regional managers via the two participating WebPages.


4) Identify strategic areas to understand the hydrodynamics of the Mesoamerican region by deploying low tech oceanographic instruments to determine patterns influencing the arrival of larvae into coastal nursery areas associated with coral reef MPA network;


5) Further develop & maintain on-going communications, coordination, and data-sharing between MPA managers and regional scientists in support of established regional priorities and goals.


Geographic location: the geographic area includes the Mesoamerican barrier reef system. The training workshop will take place in the associated mangrove and reef lagoons located in Xcalak National Park.




2nd Regional WORKSHOP:

MPA Capacity Building and Mesoamerican Reef Connectivity.


Participantes: regional natural resource managers, staff and stakeholders that work with/in the prioritized MAR MPAs.


Purpose: This is the 2nd Regional workshop to promote a better understanding of the bio-physical connectivity along the Mesoamerican reef (MAR) and its potential role in ecosystem-scale management of associated protected areas. This workshop is intended to be a practical, hands-on approach in connectivity research and data acquisition.




Day 1:
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.


Day 2:
Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico.


When: March 13 -14, 2012


The workshop goals are a result of the three priorities established by local managers in the 2010 workshop held in ECOSUR, Chetumal, Q. Roo:


1. Workshop goal: provide hands-on training by experts and exchange experiences in connectivity research in the Mesoamerican region in recruitment, invasive species (lionfish) and transport patterns.


2. Management goal: support capacity building in the MAR region by training of local managers and the “training of trainers” in connectivity issues and invasive species (lionfish) with parallel protocols.


3. Connectivity Research goal: to obtain comparable baseline information on a regional basis, our goal is to carry out at least one simultaneous network-wide activity utilizing the training acquired in this workshop, by combining the biological and oceanographic components in the network of MPAs (at least one MPA per country). During the workshop, a proposal will be developed by participants (managers, NGOs and academic partners) that they can coordinate, execute and analyze, with the following components: a) simultaneous collections of recruitment (fish) using settlement traps and b) combination of the biological data with continuous sea temperature measurements by deployment of data loggers.


Connectivity Workshop Program 2012


Programa del Taller de Conectividad 2012




Presentations / Presentaciones


Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary


South Water Caye Marine Reserve


Toledo Institute for Development & Environment


Corredor Biológico Omoa-Manabique


Río Sarstún y el Río Motagua


Sandy Bay - West End Marine Reserve


Bay Islands Conservation Association


Módulo del Pez León


Conectividad en el Arrecife Mesoamericano


Módulo pez león/Día 1: Introducción


Módulo pez león/Día 2: Introducción


Medición de Datos clave en las colectas de Pez León


Impactos de las especies Exóticas Invasoras


Planeación de buceos



Organizadores / Organizers


NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center / Early Life History Unit


ECOSUR (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur)


Mesoamerican Reef Fund