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Slide1

Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

By: Kelli McLean

Slide2

About the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR)!

More than 724km longIt runs between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen for hundreds of miles, extending from the southern half of the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands of Honduras

Largest coral reef in the Western hemisphere (second largest in the world) Amazing biodiversity, home to 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish

Slide3

LOCATION

Slide4

Threats on MAR

Fishing (overfishing and cyanide fishing)Introduction of unwanted species

Slide5

OVER FISHING

Overfishing occurs when fishing activities reduce fish stocks below an acceptable levelThis

can occur in any body of water from a pond to the oceansIt is also a result of the

fishing industry rapidly increasing due to improvements in technology and a high demand for already at risk species (in the MAR examples being Snapper, Grouper, Lobster,

Conche

)

The expanding fishing industries are also a large contributor (

Aquaculture, artisanal,

commercial)

Slide6

How does this affect the MAR?

It can potentially lead to the extinction of species within the ocean ecosystem, taking away from the extremely unique biodiversity of this areaIn addition species that aren’t targeted by fishers can become unnaturally dominant, act as a invasive species in their own ecosystem, and decrease biomass

It creates a chain effect in various food chains (see notes below)

Slide7

Cyanide fishing!

Started in the 1950s and is mostly illegal although still widely practiced Sodium

Cyanide is sprayed over habitat (as a result stunning the fish, and other species in the process)Fish are

then collected by divers and put up for sale Sometimes in order to locate the fish the coral is physically broken apart by the divers completely destroying it

There is quite a high

mortality

rate causing many more fish to be stunned than are actually sold

Slide8

Why is this bad for the MAR?

Not only affects the fish, but the coral and the coral reefs as well high mortality rate, meaning that more fish have to be killed than

requiredcyanide build-ups which slow photosynthesis in the algae in the

reefs causing them to loose colour and reduce the amount of oxygen produced It also can have the same effects (tampering with species population and food chains

) as listed for overfishing as fish are removed from the ocean ecosystem, just in a dissimilar manner

Slide9

Introduction of unwanted species

When organisms are introduced to an area it can cause devastating affectsSpecifically within the MAR the introduction of the crown of thorns and lion fish has

Slide10

Crown of Thorns

The crown of thorns starfish is the second largest sea star in the worldIt

is a nocturnal creature that preys on fast-growing and common coralsThe crown-of-thorns receives its name from venomous thorn-like spines that cover its

body

Slide11

The Problem

The Crown of Thorns Starfish can be blamed for widespread reef destructionCoral

bleaching and Black band disease, mean that outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns can cause permanent damage and prevent new coral from growing

Slide12

Lion Fish

Introduced in the 1990s after an aquarium was destroyed during a hurricaneExtremely evasive as it has no natural predatorsEfforts to reduce population were mainly ineffective

The lionfish breeds extremely quickly, and can release Studies have shown lionfish reduce the amount of coral fish by an estimated 80%

Slide13

Protective measures!

Thankfully there are many protective measure being taken by various organizations in order to maintain the Mesoamerican Reef.

Slide14

OAK foundation

Oak Foundation is an international foundation that has made more than 2,100 grants to not-for-profit

organisations across the globe since its establishment in 1998

Slide15

How do they help?

Program GOALS #

Improve marine reserve management effectiveness

# Promote sustainable coastal and marine resource management, including sustainable financing

# Promote long-term, non-extractive, diverse economic development opportunities for coastal communities

Slide16

Another Solution

The UN has created a unique program for the Caribbean that is hosted within their environmental programs. The Caribbean Environmental Programme was developed in order to legally protect the marine life found in the Mesoamerican

reef

Slide17

WORKS CITED

Control of Lionfish in the Mesoamerican Reef - GlobalGiving. (

n.d.). GlobalGiving: donate to projects in the developing world supporting education, health, women and children, and more

. Retrieved June 27, 2011, from http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/control-of-invasive-lionfish-in-the-mar-reef/

Crown

of thorns. (1996). Retrieved from http://

www.reefed.edu.au

/home/

explorer/animals/marine_invertebrates/echinoderms/

crown_of_thorns

Crown

-of-thorns starfish. (2011). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Crown-of-

thorns_starfish

Mesoamerican reef. (2011). 

Retrieved from http://

worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework

/

mesoamericanreef/results.html

Mesoamerican reef – the

atlantic

ocean’s largest coral reef. (2011). Retrieved from http://

www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/mesoamericanreef/

Mesoamerican reef - threats. (2011). Retrieved from http://

www.worldwildlife.org

/

whatwherewework/mesoamericanreef/threats.html

Slide18

WORKS CITED CONT.

Mesoamerican reef. (2011).  Retrieved from http://worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework

/ mesoamericanreef/results.htmlMesoamerican reef – the

atlantic ocean’s largest coral reef. (2011). Retrieved from http:// www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/mesoamericanreef/

Mesoamerican reef - threats. (2011). Retrieved from http://

www.worldwildlife.org

/

whatwherewework/mesoamericanreef/threats.html

Oak

Foundation: Marine

Env

. Gulf of Honduras. (

n.d

.).

Oak Foundation: Home

. Retrieved July 10, 2011, from http://www.oakfnd.org/activities/2009/marinemesoamerica.php

Overfishing - A global environmental problem, threat to our oceans and disaster.. (

n.d

.).

Overfishing - A global environmental problem, threat to our oceans and disaster.

. Retrieved July 10, 2011, from http://

overfishing.org

/

Region. (

n.d

.). Protecting the Mesoamerican Reef | Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW).

Home | Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)

. Retrieved July 10, 2011, from http://www.elaw.org/node/1223

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Mesoamerican Barrier Reef - Description


By Kelli McLean About the Mesoamerican Reef MAR More than 724km long It runs between Cozumel and Playa del Carmen for hundreds of miles extending from the southern half of the Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands of Honduras ID: 796631 Download

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