MarAlliance improves the understanding and conservation of threatened marine species and their habitats, notably sharks and rays on the Mesoamerican reef. To do this, we create new knowledge by monitoring the abundance and characteristics of species in key sites. We train local fishermen to help up and engage our local communities to obtain information on sightings of important species. We the share this knowledge in many different formats to many different audiences, from the youngest audiences in pre-schools all the way to politicians and other decision-makers. Through this, we hope to inspire a sense of wonder about the ocean, to promote sustainable tourism and to foster the effectiveness of marine protected areas.
Working with stakeholders, from fishers and other NGOs to government institutions, we identify the science needed to support management and conservation efforts and build local scientific capacities while undertaking research and long-term monitoring. We are precautionary in our approach, as evidenced by whale shark science conducted in several countries, finfish spawning aggregation research in Belize and Micronesia, shark and ray fisheries-dependent and -independent science, deep sea fisheries research in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, and assessments of protected areas’ effectiveness for large mobile fish.