Our Work in Mexico: Oceans

Charting a Sustainable Course for Oceans and People

Though commercial fishing and tourism bring substantial revenues to the Mexican economy, they also threaten to destroy the very ecosystems that produce fish, attract tourists and buffer coastal communities from storms.

"The seas of Mexico are places of tremendous natural wealth. We are building alliances with a wide array of partners to balance conservation, economic and social needs in order to assure that the region's ocean bounty is sustained." - Diana Bermudez, Mexico and Northern Central America Oceans Program Director


In Mexico, we safeguard the Mesoamerican Reef and the Gulf of California by:

Protecting marine and coastal ecosystems that sustain fisheries and safeguard communities and infrastructure
Transforming practices, policies and incentives to enhance the health and resilience of coastal ecosystems
Inspiring those who drive ocean and coastal development to better manage fisheries and invest in natural infrastructure

Protecting marine and coastal ecosystems that sustain fisheries and safeguard communities and infrastructure

Maricruz Mendoza, a resident of Punta Allen, explains the social and economic importance of the Mesoamerican Reef to her and her family: "If there is a hurricane, it affects the shades where the lobsters live, and it is destroyed by the hurricane. If there is no fishing, there is no money. The reef protects us. It protects the coast. Please take care of what we have."

Hear Maricruz talk more about her community's experience with coastal resilience and climate change in The Nature Conservancy's documentary, The Nature of People.

Transforming practices, policies and incentives to enhance the health and resilience of coastal ecosystems

A male humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) leaps acrobatically in a characteristic reproductive activity off the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.The Nature Conservancy, working with local partners and the Mexican government, has embarked on an initiative to strengthen and expand the marine and terrestrial protected areas in the Gulf of California. Together, these actions will protect a mosaic of habitats for the animals, plants and nearly 10 million people whose well-being hinges on this ecosystem.

Inspiring those who drive ocean and coastal development to better manage fisheries and invest in natural infastrucuture

Lobster fishermen collect live lobsters in Ascencion Bay off the coast of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Gerardo Velazquez Cruz is a member of Pescadores de Vigia Chico, a fishing cooperative in Punta Allen, a remote village located within the Reserve. The co-op’s 55 members have agreed to sustainable fishing practices, including no-take zones on Mexican sections of the Mesoamerican Reef, an important coral reef and fish nursery where lobster spawn.

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