Fisheries and Marine Conservation
High unemployment and underemployment are serious challenges in the Dominican Republic. Efforts to promote agricultural livelihoods in the 1980s led to the destruction of the nation’s mangrove forests, coral reefs and other natural resources. Today, mangroves continue to be cut down to create space for salt pans to grow and harvest shrimp. Coupled with the effects of climate change, the Dominican Republic’s marine resources are at great risk while local communities are still in need of more stable, sustainable and environmentally-responsible livelihoods.
Counterpart partnered with local organizations to promote natural resource management and enhance economic well-being in the Montecristi National Park since 2004. In the following program, Fisheries and Marine Conservation in Montecristi National Park, we drew upon previous experience to promote responsible fishing practices and help local communities produce a co-owned management plan to protect the park’s marine areas. The project helped fishing families become more economically stable while also conserving their local ecosystems.
The expansion of our 10-year partnership with local communities helped to:
- Improved the livelihoods of 1,700 fishing families
- Trained 300 men and women to use responsible fishing methods
- Taught six communities how to monitor the health of ecosystems
- Built networks between five fishing associations and buyers to improve local value chains
- Increased the monitoring of fisheries and help the Park improve enforcement policies to protect against over-fishing
- Monitored land activities that may affect the health of the marine ecosystem