Enforcing environmental protection law
Our eyes and ears on the reef
Our patrol program facilitates the enforcement of Honduran environmental laws, regulations, and best practices. The program consists of five patrol boats manned by Park Rangers and the Honduran Navy. Our goal is to have all 5 boats monitor Roatan's water 7 days a week during daylight hours, in addition to night patrols when needed. Protecting key species such as corals, turtles, sharks, conch, lobster, and parrot fish is vital to ensure that our reefs stay healthy. Without our patrols, these species would surely vanish.
With over 150kms of coastline, our patrols monitor Roatan's waters, support the Navy to enforce fishing regulations and respond to reports and requests as required. Additionally, we have a user-friendly application available on smartphones that allows the community to report any criminal or damaging activity that poses a threat to the MPA. (IPatrol)
Please make a report if you suspect individuals using spearguns or pole spears (lionfish spearing permits are available for snorkelers and divers), fish and lobster traps, and any nets other than cast nets. The removal of turtle, shark, lobster, conch, parrot fish, tang and coral is also prohibited and should be reported.
Towards the end of March, the island was completely closed off to travel due to COVID19 and concerns of people illegally entering Roatan. This halt in tourism caused a 50% increase in illegal fishing activities around the marine protected area in comparison to previous year.
The Community of West End joined forces with the RMP and created a community patrol team to support the Patrol Program. This resulted in four permanent Navy personnel being stationed in the West End community and our patrols operating 24/7 between the communities of Flowers Bay and Sandy Bay. We are incredibly thankful to the West End community, for supporting us with lodging for the Navy officers, meals for our rangers, fuel and more importantly their willingness to step in our shoes.
HOW CAN YOU HELP
We currently have 5 patrol boats operating principaly on the West End of Roatan. Our goal is to continue to expand our patrol program to cover the entire island, a vast amount of coastline for our small operation. We are currently expanding our patrol efforts to the East End, however there are many more reefs and species to protect. By preventing illegal fishing for endangered species such as sea turtles, we know our conservation activities are making a big difference on the health and biodiversity of our reefs. This is an extremely important and demanding program and we appreciate all and any support.
Assist our patrols by downloading our free app called RMP iPatrol from Google Play and iTunes App Store. We can’t be everywhere at once, but with your help we can significantly increase our patrolling efforts. Be our eyes and ears by notifying us directly of any violations of the marine protected area's rules and regulations and help us gain evidence against repeat offenders. The app also contains information about the rules and regulations within the marine protected area including fishing, boating, and environmental offenses.
The rules and regulations of the Bay Islands National Marine Park are intended to conserve our natural resources for the future. A strategic plan with defined roles and responsibilities of the co managers of the Bay Islands National Marine Park can be viewed and downloaded here.