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White sandy U.S. Caribbean beaches are a tourist’s delight, and the azure waters beckon those who wish to explore the wonders of the deep. On the coast and in the depths, living treasures abound.

Endangered sea turtles nest along the shore. Threatened Nassau grouper travel great distances to gather under the full moon for complex breeding rituals. Humpback whales bear their young. Colorful coral reefs play host to marine animals ranging from sharks to parrotfish. In an intricate underwater partnership, parrotfish feed on algae that otherwise smother reefs.

But these special places and the interdependent marine life face threats from habitat destruction, climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, and invasive species, such as the Pacific lionfish, that call for a comprehensive approach to protect these natural assets.

As a first step, U.S. Caribbean fishery managers have developed island-based management plans to guide their decisions. The plans account for the unique ecology, culture, economy, and lifestyle of each island and how those factors influence the way people use marine resources. This approach sets the stage for pursuit of a more comprehensive strategy, known as ecosystem-based fisheries management, which involves protecting habitat where fish live and spawn and considers the interactions among predators and prey. The next step is designing ecosystem plans that can deliver on these goals. 

By embracing science-based approaches to protect marine habitats and ensure healthy fish populations, ocean managers can help deliver bountiful seafood, productive fishing, recreational opportunities, and economic strength for generations to come.

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Caribbean Fishery Council Delivers Big Win for Corals, Fish, and People

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Article

Caribbean Fishery Council Delivers Big Win for Corals, Fish, and People

At its spring meeting, the Caribbean Fishery Management Council, which sets policy for fishing in U.S. Caribbean waters, approved island-based fishery management plans that will guide managers in setting rules for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that are tailored to the biodiversity, culture, and other characteristics of each location.

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U.S. Caribbean Undersea Treasures Are Worth Saving

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Fact Sheet

U.S. Caribbean Undersea Treasures Are Worth Saving

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

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

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

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.

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