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Roatan Marine Park

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The Roatan Marine Park office in West End.
One of the RMP's patroll boats.
Confiscated illegal harpoons.
The RMP issues lionfish licenses together with a registered Hawaiian sling - a legal harpoon-like spear used to hunt lionfish, and lionfish only.
The RMP hosts and provides guidance to foreign students that visit Roatan to perform studies on the marine life.
Fundraisers and selling of RMP t-shirts are some of the ways that the RMP receives funds that support their conservation efforts.
West Bay Beach - one of Roatan's most popular beaches is part of the marine reserve protected by the RMP!
This organization works closely with the local diveshops in order for them to follow proper eco-friendly dives.
Half Moon Bay in West End!

The Sandy Bay-West End Marine Reserve (SBWEMR) dates back to 1988 when the local community of Sandy Bay united and proposed the creation of a managed marine reserve to protect the shoreline and marine habitats in the waters adjacent to its shore. In April of 1989, the Sandy Bay Marine Reserve (SBMR) was officially designated, encompassing an area of about 6 km between Lawson's Rock and Gibson Bight.

In September 1993, the communities of West End and West Bay agreed to extend the SBMR from Gibson Bight all the way around to the western tip of the island, to an area known as Key Hole on the south side. Currently, the Reserve encompasses 13 km of coastline and its boundaries extend from the high watermark down to 60 m in depth.

In the mid 90's the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA), was granted assistance with the maintenance of the Reserve and a management agreement was signed with the Government of Honduras to manage the Reserve. Later in 2005, the local diving communities of Sandy Bay, West End and West Bay joined the cause and created the Sandy Bay-West End Marine Park association (SBWEMP).

The primary goals of this grassroots organization are to work together in a collaborative & bottom-up effort in order to tackle some of the problems affecting the Reserve: over-fishing and poaching, lack of formal management and governmental support at national and local levels, the increase in marine recreation activity, and the consequences of unprecedented and often unregulated coastal development.

Initially, financial contributions from local dive shops and businesses funded the purchase of 2 boats, engines and paid the salaries of 4 employees. Each boat was staffed with a boat captain and a local police officer who patrolled the Reserve from morning till night, 7 days a week. Recently, their activities have expanded to include an education program for local schools, an extensive marine infrastructure program, designing and implementing tourist education programs, facilitating community involvement and leadership, and financing three patrol boats and 7 full time members of staff, not including the National Police they employ.

The organization has matured from an idea into a reality within a short time, focusing on anthropogenic threats not just within the Reserve, but around the island. Therefore, the name Roatan Marine Park (RMP) was selected as a replacement for the SBWEMP. This was to reflect the expansion of their vision for the community and environment of Roatan as a whole, in an effort to provide sustainable resources from which everyone could benefit.

Ages this Opportunity is Appropriate for: All ages.

For More Information, Contact:

Eduardo Rico

Main Street, West End, Roatan, IB 34101
(504) 2445-4206

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Boundaries and names shown do not necessarily reflect the map policy of National Geographic.

Latitude: 16.304933000
Longitude: -86.593470000
Elevation: 31 FT (9 M)
Manlio Martinez
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Manlio Martinez
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