RMP Rangers seeking to protect marine ecosystems in Roatan

Updated: Jul 8

The Park Rangers have spearheaded the implementation of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) in MPAs in this region, seeking to protect all of the marine ecosystems around Roatan.


Accompanied by the Honduran Navy, our Rangers were involved in 45 incidents regarding illegal fishing, with a total of 294 herbivorous species confiscated including Queen conch (191), lobster (75) and parrotfish (28), which are protected by law. These species perform key functions in marine ecosystems and their populations are in critical state due to overexploitation.


Marine patrolling in the MPA is key to maintaining healthy marine and coastal ecosystems. Our Patrol Program is an example of practical and effective conservation in a MPA that demands full-time protection. Together with other initiatives such as environmental education, research and sustainable development, they contribute to ensure the conservation of all our coastal marine ecosystems for present and future generations.


Figures from our January to June Patrols Program:

A total of 529 patrols were carried out by our Park Rangers over the past 6 months, traveling approximately 27,640 km while conducting patrols around Roatan. These efforts resulted in:

96 incidents consisting of illegal fishing (45), construction of docks or buildings (17), petrochemical contamination incidents (11), sand removal (8), seagrass removal or damage (5), sinking or grounding incidents (4), mechanical damage to the reef (3), speeding (2) and then mangrove cutting (1).


In addition, a total of 26 vessels were towed to safety by our Rangers, 4 search and rescue missions undertaken, and 35 other public services including delivering food to the Navy base and helping organizations with inspections. Our Park Rangers play a vital role in protecting Roatan’s reefs, however this program comes at a cost and requires approximately 35% of our annual budget. With fuel prices continually rising, this looks to increase each month so we ask the public to remain vigilant and report any illegal fishing or development so we can monitor more of the island when are boats are present.



Our most outstanding results in the period from January to May have been:
  • 450 patrols have been carried out

  • Between the different mandates, the park rangers have traveled approximately 23,766.3 km conducting patrols around the island of Roatan


83 incidents have been reported:

Incidents

#

Illegal fishing

37

​Construction of docks and housing or tourist development

14

Petrochemical contamination incidents

9

Sand removal

8

Mangrove cutting

1

Seagrass removal or damage

5

Incident of mechanical damage to the reef

3

Sinking and grounding incidents

4

Incidents of speeding

2

Together the park rangers with the Honduran Navy have seized 292 individuals of protected species such as:

Seized protected species

#

Queen Conch (Strombus gigas)

191

Lobster (Panulirus argus)

​67