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Project

Caribbean Ocean Conservation

Healthy Oceans Deliver Economic, Cultural Benefits for the U.S. Caribbean

Coral reefs, marine life, and idyllic beaches power the Caribbean economy, drawing millions of tourists to the region each year. By embracing science-based management to ensure healthy fish populations and protect ocean ecosystems, federal fishery managers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico can help deliver bountiful seafood, productive fishing, on- and underwater enjoyment, and economic strength for generations to come.

  

As a first step, U.S. Caribbean fishery managers have begun developing island-based management plans that account for the unique culture, economy, and lifestyle of each island and how those factors influence the way people use ocean resources. This effort sets the stage for pursuit of a more modern, comprehensive strategy, known as ecosystem-based fisheries management, which involves protecting habitat where fish live and spawn and considering the interactions among predators and prey to help counter the effects of threats from climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, and invasive species, such as the Pacific lionfish.

Protecting the Caribbean’s valuable marine assets is growing ever more economically important. Smart management that takes a big-picture view of a healthy ocean is a vital and achievable part of that effort.

Fishing boats
Fishing boats
Fact Sheet

U.S. Caribbean Undersea Treasures Are Worth Saving

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Fact Sheet

Pew works to protect ocean life for healthy ecosystems and thriving communities.

Caribbean fishery management plans
Caribbean fishery management plans
Fact Sheet

A Plan of Distinction

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Fact Sheet

Caribbean islands are as diverse as those who inhabit them, and the culture, economy, and lifestyle on each island influence how people use their ocean resources. However, federal fishery managers in the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico generally set most fishing rules by treating the locations as a single unit. A new proposal would deal with that issue by providing unique fishery management plans for each island.

Article

In Search of Spawning Fish

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Article

Leda Dunmire joined Gary Strieker, an Emmy award-winning television correspondent who has worked all over the world, to shoot an episode of “This American Land” about the Bajo de Sico seamount, an underwater wildlife mecca off the western coast of Puerto Rico.

PR Sunset
PR Sunset
Article

West Puerto Rico Fishers Call for More Participation in Management and Enhanced Enforcement

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Article

Western Puerto Rico fishers are worried about the state of their marine ecosystem and want to play more of a role in fisheries management, according to interviews conducted by a researcher and University of Puerto Rico professor.

Our Work

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Article

The Magnuson-Stevens Act at 40

Reasons major U.S. fishing law should shift to big picture management

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Article

On April 13, 2016, the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the primary law that governs fishing in U.S. ocean waters, turns 40.

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