Video: Learn more about why it's important to keep parrotfish off our plates and on the reef.
#PassOnParrotfish is a collaborative campaign in which The Nature Conservancy and local partners in the Caribbean are raising awareness about the need to protect parrotfish in order to keep our coral reefs healthy and thriving. Using social media and other outreach tools, we are encouraging fishers, restaurants and consumers not to catch, sell or eat parrotfish because of the important role they play in maintaining coral reef health.
What exactly do these colorful fish do besides look beautiful as they swim through Caribbean waters? They spend about 90% of their day eating algae off the reefs! This almost-constant eating actually performs the essential task of cleaning the reefs which helps the corals stay healthy and thriving. Healthy reefs support more fish in the sea and promote marine biodiversity, which benefits everyone – from fishers to consumers to the entire next generation! Aside from being vital to coral reef health, parrotfish also contribute to the sand on our beaches. They snack on the hard parts of coral which becomes a white sandy material in their stomachs that washes onto shore after parrotfish leave it behind on the reef. Who doesn’t love a sandy beach?
The #PassOnParrotfish campaign is part of the Caribbean Marine Biodiversity Program, which is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. To learn more, check out this Pass On Parrotfish digital magazine that delves into stories from across the Caribbean about the ways we are working to protect parrotfish and some of our successes so far.
Photo: The rainbow parrotfish, or Scarus guacamaia, is the largest marine herbivore in the Atlantic and Caribbean. © Ken Marks