In January 2015, GMRI’s Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) team hosted their first Caribbean Initiative Workshop.
The three-day course held in Lajas, Puerto Rico introduced fishermen from across the region to fisheries science and management. The group grappled with several regional issues, including law enforcement, jurisdiction boundaries, and tensions between recreational and commercial fishermen.
“It’s exciting to see our program methods applied in new ways,” said Alexa Dayton, who manages the program for GMRI. “Whether we’re engaging with artisanal fisheries, translating workshop materials into Spanish, or presenting to fishermen with varying backgrounds, we’re able to adapt the program to suit the region’s needs, with the help of a local industry-led steering committee.”
This newest workshop builds on the program model established by New England fishermen. GMRI began facilitating MREP New England in 2005, in partnership with industry members John Williamson and Mary Beth Tooley, and has since led the expansion of the program into the Southeast U.S. fisheries region. This year, the MREP team will host a workshop in another new area—the U.S. Virgin Islands.