Scientists from Mexico and Central America will assess potential fishery resources, their distribution, and biodiversity in the Caribbean and Pacific, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today.
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The team of 22 scientists will work from the research vessel Dr. Jorge Carranza Fraser, which will sail next Monday from Puerto Progreso, state of Yucatan, in southeastern Mexico, the international organization said in a statement.
The vessel will evaluate the state of its fishing resources along 7,500 nautical miles (13,890 kilometers) of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean of seven Central American countries, in addition to making continuous measurements of factors such as sea temperature, primary productivity (phytoplankton), oxygen and salinity levels and currents.
These measurements will be correlated with satellite images and fishing productivity.
The agency said that this new initiative, promoted by Mexico as part of the Global Blue Growth Initiative of FAO, will allow Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama to “improve their public policies in the face of challenges such as climate change and illegal, undeclared and unregulated fishing. ”
“The results of these studies will provide countries with more accurate information on resources in waters of national jurisdiction and their fishing potential,” they said.
The representative of the FAO in Mexico, the Brazilian Crispim Moreira, said that “it is key to update the knowledge of the health and productivity of these seas, on which thousands of small fishermen depend”, by pointing out that Central America has a territorial sea of 10 times greater than its land extension.
The vessel will cross the Panama Canal around the third week of October to continue its journey through the Pacific and finish the mission on November 27, when it docks in Mazatlan, Sinaloa state, in northwestern Mexico.
The FAO mentioned that the studies will contribute to fisheries sustainability and the strengthening of the institutional capacities of the Central American countries.
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The Sargasso patches in the Caribbean will also be studied in collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a problem of special importance for the environment and tourism in the Mexican Caribbean, in order to determine their abundance and potential for arrival in Mexico.
According to FAO, this initiative will contribute to the achievement of the commitments of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular of objective number 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.