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International Mesoamerican Reef Day

The Mesoamerican Reef System (MAR) is an exceptionally diverse ecoregion, as well as being of social, economic, and cultural importance. It is the second largest coral reef in the world, stretching 1,000 km along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

The spawning aggregations of groupers and snappers are an emblematic hallmark of this barrier reef. Every year during a few specific days and months large numbers of fish gather to reproduce. It is a wonderful spectacle, but at the same time extremely vulnerable since it is easy to catch large numbers of fish. Aggregations of thousands of groupers and snappers have been exterminated in just a few years.

In the Mexican part, in the state of Quintana Roo, 40 sites have been identified with the potential for being spawning aggregations. However, the presence of aggregations has only been confirmed in eight sites and four have been protected. The success in protecting these sites has been the involvement of women and men from the fishing communities, who have contributed to the design of the marine reserves, their implementation and are the ones who carry out the annual monitoring to determine the state of the aggregations.

We invite you to learn more about the fish reproductive aggregations at

La danza de los meros: agregaciones reproductivas en Quintana Roo

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