News / Industry News & Events / Mexican fishermen relocate reef in first for LatAm (04/30/18)

Mexican fishermen relocate reef in first for LatAm

04/30/18

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A group of 153 Mexican fishermen successfully relocated a coral reef in the Gulf of Mexico, in the first project of its kind in Latin America, the government said on Sunday.

It took the fishermen a year to move approximately 42,000 corals, 400,000 anemones, 1.2 million sea urchins and 800,000 sea cucumbers to a new location some 18 kilometers away, said the National Commission for Aquaculture and Fishing (Conapesca), a department of the Agriculture Ministry.

The project called for relocating the marine life at Punta Gorda, part of a reef system situated off the coast of Mexico's Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, in a bid to preserve the reef and fishing activity, the agency said.

Coral reefs are home to 25 percent of marine life, and also serve to protect beaches from erosion, the agency added.

In addition, "this process speeds up the average natural growth rate (of reefs) by as much as 50 times," the agency said.

The Punta Gorda project, unique in Latin America, according to the agency, achieved a survival rate of between 85 and 95 percent of the marine life relocated, higher than the target rate of 70 percent.

Conservationists warn that 75 percent of the world's coral reefs could disappear by 2050.