One of the main objectives of Pez Maya marine conservation project is to collect data for the MBRS Synoptic Monitoring Program on behalf of our partners Amigos de Sian Ka’an (ASK) and CONANP. We train volunteers in four different MBRS methodologies, and when they complete their training they start to monitor. This quarter (April-June) we managed to complete five monitor sites for fish and coral.
- To continue with the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) Synoptic Monitoring Program in strategic locations in the north of Sian Ka'an reserve, to provide current information on the status of the reefs for management decisions.
- To train participants in the expeditions in the MBRS methodology, through the identification offish, hard corals, invertebrates and algae.
The volunteers are trained in the four different methodologies of MBRS: Point Intercept method for percentage cover (PI), characterization of the Coral Communities (CC), and belt transect counts for defined fish species, adults and recruitments / juveniles. Volunteers go through extensive training both in and out of the water, learning Latin names for corals, conducting coral and fish identification tests, practice monitoring, sizing, laying lines, etc. Training can take anywhere between 4-6 weeks depending on ability, logistics and weather.
Each quarter we aim to monitor as many sites as possible, and for the April to June quarter we were very happy that we managed to complete 5 out of 11 monitoring sites. It was really successful and a great occasion was when we had four different monitoring buddy pairs on one boat.
For the April- June quarter a total 5 sites were monitored from 11 sites: Pedro Paila 05 (PP05), Pedro Paila 10 (PP10), San Miguel de Ruiz 10 (SMDR10), San Miguel de Ruiz 20 (SMDR20) and Punta Yuyum 20 (PY20). Both coral and fish transects were completed at these sites.
PP05 presents a high predominance of algae cover (74.50%) and a low percentage of hard coral cover (7.33%).
The dominant fish family is Acanthuridae with 84.55%, this is due to the higher number of individuals of blue tangs, ocean and doctor surgeon fish, which are most common in the reef. Also these species often travel and feed in schools which makes their presence in the transect higher.
All the sites were done for both coral and fish giving us a clear idea of what is happening on the reef. Thank you for supporting this cause, your donations make all the above happen!