Expanding MREP Program Hosts New WorkshopsIn Strengthening Coastal Communities
This year, GMRI’s Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) team expanded to a new region by hosting their first Caribbean Initiative Workshop.
The three-day course in Puerto Rico introduced fishermen from the region to fisheries science and management. The group grappled with several regional issues, including law enforcement, jurisdiction boundaries, and tensions between recreational and commercial fishermen.
“It’s exciting to see our program methods applied in new ways,” said Alexa Dayton, who manages the program for GMRI. “Whether we’re engaging with artisanal fisheries, translating workshop materials into Spanish, or presenting to fishermen with low-level reading skills, we’re able to adapt the program to suit the region’s needs, with the help of a local industry-led steering committee.”
This newest workshop builds on the program model established by New England fishermen. GMRI began facilitating MREP New England in 2005, and has since led the expansion of the program into the Southeast U.S. Fisheries region.
In the next year, the MREP team expects to host a workshop in another new area – the west coast. At the request of NOAA fisheries, the MREP team will head to California to help fishermen solve similar problems in this new region.