Adaptive Management

maintaining ecosystem services and sustainably managing fisheries


Program Purpose

The Adaptive Management Program guides TASA’s on-site management of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve. The program aims to maintain ecosystem services and sustainably manage fisheries through different marine monitoring programs that promote the direct application of science into adaptive management. Three thematic areas make up the AMP: Sustainable Fisheries, Ecosystems/Habitat Health, and Complementary Livelihoods.

Sustainable Fisheries management encompasses strategies such as monitoring Fisheries Catch Data, Spawning Aggregation monitoring, Lobster Fishing Camp Inventory, and Long-Term Atoll Monitoring. Habitat/Ecosystems Health initiatives focus on monitoring Reef Health and Nesting Sites to protect important habitats. The seaweed mariculture initiative as a complementary livelihoods activity, aims to strike a balance between economic activities and environmental conservation within the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.


Key Activities

Maintaining regular and standardized monitoring under the Adaptive Management Program is essential for enhancing decision-making processes and optimizing management efficiency. Through the continuous tracking of key indicators and the collection of relevant data, TASA is able to use science for adaptive management of the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.

Fish Spawning Aggregation Monitoring

Fish Spawning Aggregation Monitoring is one of TASAs core monitoring programs. In 2023 TASA started to monitor the 3 protected SPAG sites at Turneffe Atoll: Maugre Caye, Dog Flea and Caye Bokel (monitoring was done by UBERI prior). These sites are monitored around the December, January, February, April, and May moons, applying an updated monitoring protocol that aligns with regional standards and best practices. Monitoring includes standardized dive surveys with laser sizing activities to generate robust size data. The Maugre Caye and Dog Flea sites have traditionally been monitored for Nassau groupers while Caye Bokel is a multi-species site where snappers, jacks and permits can be observed.

Did you know?

TASA uses Hydrophones to assist with Spawning Aggregation Monitoring.

The Fisheries Catch Data Monitoring

The Fisheries Catch Data Monitoring is TASAs fishery dependent program where data is collected directly from commercial fishers at TAMR. On a weekly basis TASA’s Conservation Officers engage with sailboat, skiff and camp fishers to sample their catch. Data is collected on conch, lobster and finfish including morphometrics, depth, hours fished, gear type and fishers, vessel and spatial details. TASA uses the Spatial Monitoring And Reporting Tool (SMART) for this monitoring activity and these results informs the management of the reserve.

Program Impact

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