In August, our Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) team headed to La Parguera, Puerto Rico to host a three-day workshop for a mix of recreational, charter, and commercial fishermen.
Whether in the Southeast U.S., West Coast, Caribbean, or at home in New England, where the program has its roots, MREP prepares fishermen to engage confidently in fishery management and to critically evaluate the science affecting their fisheries.
A foundational commitment of all MREP workshops, regardless of where they take place, is that they are designed by and for fishermen. The Puerto Rico program was built with the help of local industry moderators, who are committed to helping local fishermen to address the specific fisheries management issues in their part of the world.
Together, the group of about 40 fishermen, family members, scientists, and local fishery managers discussed spiny lobster, queen conch, snappers, marlin, and other important species to the region — each presenting its own set of challenges and opportunities.
“The experience was extremely enriching, both in education and in getting to know many people,” said one participating fisherman. “I feel more committed to the resource... for my family and me to live from it.”