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Parrotfish Conservation in

Dominican Republic and Bahamas

A Bit of Background

Alelí Environmental, Inc. in collaboration with the Institute for Socio-Ecological Research (ISER Caribe) and funds from NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program implemented three behavior change campaigns for parrotfish conservation. This project followed the Community-based Social Marketing methods of Dr. McKenzie-Mohr. Our team performed a sociological research to better understand community perceptions, consumer and fisher attitudes, and fisheries expert perspectives at three target sites: Puerto Plata and Samaná (Dominican Republic) and Eleuthera Island (Bahamas). Based on this information we drafted a campaign positioning and strategy, proceeded to implement the three campaigns simultaneously. Ultimately we conducted an evaluation process to assess impacts and possibilities for replication and expansion. Below this section you can learn more about each of the campaigns.

 

Salvemos el Pez Loro

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

In Puerto Plata, our team first established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Instituto Oceanográfico James H. Ross of Puerto Plata, a local organization dedicated to education and marine conservation. Together we conducted a sociological study and designed a strategy that included three main components: a hands-on parrotfish curriculum with three local high schools, accomplished 'pass on parrotfish' written agreements with seafood restaurants to not purchase, sell or consume the fish, and engagement with fisher folks to promote lionfish catch and consumption. In June of 2017 the government implemented a law prohibiting the harvest of parrotfish for two years. This ban took place just a few months before our campaign implementation phase. 

Our campaign 'Salvemos el Pez Loro' (Pass on Parrotfish) joined efforts with other parrotfish conservation efforts taking place in Dominican Republic with USAID, JUMBO local supermarkets, and FUNDEMAR from January - July 2018. Our activities resulted in three school/community projects including murals, videos, songs, plays, and a cultural letter exchange with youth from Bahamas. We conducted parrotfish conservation workshops at five restaurants directed to owners, waiters and waitresses, conducted a lionfish tournament and tasting event, and participated in local festivals and carnavals. Parrotfish harvesting and consumption has decreased significantly at this site, a great success we celebrate for conservation. 

 

Salvemos el Pez Loro

Samaná, Dominican Republic

In Samaná, our team first established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Centro para la Conservación y Eco-Desarrollo de la Bahía de Samaná y su Entorno (CEBSE), a local organization dedicated to education and marine conservation. Together we conducted a sociological study and designed a strategy that included three main components: a hands-on parrotfish curriculum with three local high schools, accomplished 'pass on parrotfish' written agreements with seafood restaurants, ecotourism bussiness and fish markets to not purchase, sell or consume the fish. In June of 2017 the government implemented a law prohibiting the harvest of parrotfish for two years. This ban took place just a few months before our campaign implementation phase. 

Our campaign 'Salvemos el Pez Loro' (Pass on Parrotfish) joined efforts with other parrotfish conservation efforts taking place in Dominican Republic with USAID, JUMBO local supermarkets, and FUNDEMAR from January - July 2018. Our activities resulted in three school/community projects including murals, videos, songs, plays, and a cultural letter exchange with youth from Bahamas. We conducted parrotfish conservation workshops at forteen restaurants directed to owners, waiters and waitresses, conducted a lionfish cooking and tasting event with women's group, and participated in local festivals and carnavals. Parrotfish harvesting and consumption has deceased significantly at this site, a great success we celebrate for conservation. 

 

Pass on Parrotfish

Eleuthera, Bahamas

In Eleuthera, our team first established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cape Eleuthera Institute (CEI). At this site parrotfish harvesting is an emerging market, which means that is not commonly harvested consumed and sold. However, in the last five years, as commercial species become less available, there has been an increase on parrotfish fishing pressure.


With CEI we conducted a sociological study and designed a strategy that included: a hands-on parrotfish curriculum with three local schools, local newsletter outreach, and a parrotfish theme Junkanoo community event that reached out to more than 1,000 community members.