Human Perceptions of Coastal Exploitation and Landscape Use in Mexico's Caribbean Islands with Growing Tourism Economies

Nadia T. Rubio-Cisneros

Other projects

21 Sep 2015

Fisher’s Perceptions of Long-Term Coastal Exploitation in the North Coast Of Quintana Roo, Mexico

21 Jun 2017

Fisher’s Perceptions of Long-Term Coastal Exploitation and Tourism Development at Holbox Island

I aim to continue collecting interdisciplinary baseline data for studying human-environment interactions on islands. I will use the data collection approach developed on Holbox Island to study coastal exploitation, tourism, and the creation of science outreach material for Holbox, Cozumel, and Isla Mujeres Islands. Deliverables

1. scientific baseline data useful for policy design focused on preserving islands' natural capital.

2. community engagement through environmental education; and

3. collaborate with the local government, universities, and NGOs.

The increasing human footprint in the Yucatan Peninsula (YP) makes this kind of regional information and community activities timely for the welfare of coastal communities.

Learning of the fishing culture of Isla Mujeres. Picking up the nets before sunrise.

Learning of the fishing culture of Isla Mujeres. Picking up the nets before sunrise.

Tourism development and increasing landscape and coastal exploitation are a dire problem for coastal communities globally. In many regions, knowledge of the interactions between humans-nature is still scant, for example, islands in Latin America. I studied the above problematic on Holbox Island by generating baseline data on fisheries exploitation and tourist's perceptions of the environment. Our results on fishers' traditional knowledge, literature sources, and archaeological records were published in the journal of Marine Policy. We report increasing fishing effort through the mid 20th century, illegal fishing, and socio-environmental issues related to tourism development. The later has disrupted the long-term relationship islanders had with the sea.

The above situation is happening in other Mexican Caribbean Islands that have a more historical relationship with tourism when compared to Holbox. For this project, I will tailor and apply methodologies created for Holbox on Cozumel Island and Isla Mujeres. for Holbox, I will continue to work on community engagement by science education events. For this, I will collaborate with local authorities and NGOs, and I will share the science education material that are products of my previous Rufford grants.

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