Beginning June 2008, the University of Puerto Rico – Sea Grant College Program (UPRSG) initiated a Caribbean-wide assessment of the research priorities and needs of marine resource managers, users, and scientists in the United States territories and adjacent countries that comprise the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME). In response to the present resource management problems that exist, UPRSG began a regional assessment to identify and prioritize critical areas of research and information associated with the sustainable use of marine resources that are applicable to the development of better management strategies.
The main goal of this project is to develop a research and information plan for the U.S. oceanic and coastal areas of the Caribbean region. Although the U.S. has main responsibilities centered in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, our approach is truly regional, as the natural, physical, governance, and conservation processes in the Caribbean (considered here as a Large Marine Ecosystem) has a bearing on the strategies and policies of the U.S. territories. As an important player in the region, the U.S. has the responsibility to engage its potential partners and colleagues in the region to assess the needs for research and information applicable to resource management problems. The challenge is to understand those issues across jurisdictional lines, surpassing language barriers and incorporating the stakeholders in a bottom-up regional process. Although the UPRSG mostly tends to the needs of the U.S. Caribbean, this effort requires a full understanding of the entire region, as issues, species, ecosystems, populations and resource users and managers form a complex network of relationships and governance strategies.
Bearing this in mind, we encourage scientists, managers, and experts involved in marine-related activities, which are associated with resource use and management for either public or private organizations and agencies, to actively participate in this project in order to obtain information about important and prevalent issues and concerns among several areas in the Caribbean.
In general, our focus is on four critical questions that address issues that are of importance for developing future research and management strategies:
- What type of research is presently required (short-term) in the region for resource management?
- What critical information is needed during the next 5-10 years (long-term research) in order to deal with resource management?
- What type of information can resource managers use in order to become better decision-makers?
- What obstacles are presently hindering research/assessments that can help improve resource management?
UPRSG appreciates your insights and comments on the innovative and needed areas of research, and the appropriate actions that should be taken to improve resource management on a regional scale. Please leave any comment about these questions and any additional comments on issues that we have not particularly addressed in our blog.
We also have weekly comments on recent scientific articles, which are featured on our Publication Database, that are related to management and conservation issues. Look out for posts on our activities and discussion sessions that discuss issues specific to research and management in different areas of marine resources. Please take a look and let us know your opinion about these issues.
Thanks for your help and hope to hear from you!
CRA Project Team
Manuel Valdes-Pizzini, PhD – Principal Investigator, Associate Director
Ruperto Chaparro, MS – Co-PI, Director
Kurt Grove, PhD – Research Coordinator
Yulissa Garcia – Administrative Officer
Cristina Olan – Communications Officer
Jasmine Seda Miró – Research Assistant (PhD candidate)
David Zapata – Web designer
Yarleen Irizarry – Research Assistant (Undergraduate)