Management Capacity Building in Colombia

Illegal fishing has been highlighted as the biggest threat to the sustainability of Colombia’s fisheries. The United States works with the government of Colombia in many regional and international natural resource fora, such as CITES, SPAW Protocol, WECAFC and IATTC. In addition, we have taken advantage of their expertise and leadership, particularly in San Andrés and Providencia, for which queen conch and spiny lobster conservation serve as good examples of how developing countries can conserve their fisheries resources. NOAA has funded a number of workshops in these areas, to share this fisheries management expertise. These efforts have led to international recognition. As a follow-up of this work, we supported a project to collect information on the bycatch generated by three types of fisheries used in the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve: snapper reel, longline, and fish/lobster traps


Naval and Coast Guard forces around the world have found that they can be more effective and efficient in controlling all forms of illicit activities in the marine environment through a program of “Maritime Domain Awareness.” For the last three years NOAA and the US Coast Guard have provided advice to Colombian civilian and military authorities on this topic. We see this as a model that can be useful throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.


In cooperation with NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP), we have created a partnership with Conservation International and UNESCO to provide management capacity building support for the Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape (ETPS) (Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador) island archipelago marine protected areas. Future projects will focus on fisheries management and fisheries enforcement.