Sustainability

TAMTF sustainability has two synergistic parts that are

essential to the success of each other.

First artificial reef built and installed in Nicaragua was located on the sea floor of San Jun del Sur Bay June 2014. This video provides a dramatic demonstration that artificial reefs naturally evolve into sustainable ecosystems even when placed in a marine desert (sandy bottom). Of great interest to local fishermen are the juvenile pink snapper (Pargo lunarejo), a highly desired fish significantly depleted by over-fishing.

A spiny green lobster makes itself at home in our artificial reef.

Ecological

  • The primary objective of TAMTF is the creation and protection of artificial reefs to provide improved habitat for local reef dwelling marine life.

  • As long as the artificial reefs are protected, Mother Nature takes over and in a surprisingly short time local species flourish. Our experience has shown that artificial reefs will be colonized quickly and become an incubator for all local reef dwelling fauna and flora.

  • Our partner cooperative will own all the reefs and the marine life in, on and around them within the concession and is responsible for providing 24/7 protection.

  • To ensure the protection of the reefs is sufficient, TAMTF will conduct annual scientific studies of the health of the reefs.

  • TAMTF, with their partner cooperative, have established three unique business practices designed to ensure reef protection.  

    • First, the Nicaraguan Federal Fisheries Ministry (INPESCA) in January 2020 granted our local partner (Oceanic) the first-ever concession for the ocean floor.   This concession enables Oceanic to the legally protect the artificial reefs, which will enable the reefs to fulfill their function, providing habitat for all local reef dwelling marine life. 

    • Second, the lobster aquaculture operation provided to the cooperative by TAMTF will provide them with a robust revenue stream in exchange for protecting all non-farmed marine life in, on, and around the reefs.

    • Third TAMTF is creating and retaining ownership of a lobster hatchery. The revenue generated from the sale of juvenile lobsters to seed the cooperative’s aquaculture operation will provide the financial support for monitoring the health of the artificial reefs.  

  • The cooperative is only permitted to farm approved local species that are artificially propagated.   This aquaculture operation may be expanded to include additional species (i.e., oysters, sea cucumbers and mussels) in the future with the support of TAMTF.

 

Economic

  • In order to ensure the long-term protection of the reefs and document their ecosystem benefits, TAMTF needs a robust plan to monitor the health of the reefs.   Some of this could be done by volunteers, but guaranteeing TAMTF’s capability to conduct the monitoring  will be expensive.

  • The lobster aquaculture operation is expected to provide an ongoing revenue stream for the fisherman’s cooperative and improve their socio-economic conditions.  In parallel, the only way to ensure long-term monitoring of reef health is to create a reliable revenue stream for TAMTF.

  • The only major asset that will be retained by TAMTF is this and potential future lobster hatcheries. TAMTF plans to charge the cooperatives a nominal fee (3-5% of projected market value) for the juvenile lobsters to cover the cost of the hatchery operation and monitoring of reef health.

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