Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean
18 to 22 May 2015, the Association of Marine Laboratories of the Caribbean (AMLC) held its 37th Scientific Conference on Curaçao. The conference was organized by the CARMABI Research Station who also used the occasion to celebrate their 60th anniversary.
The AMLC meeting has seen a rapid growth over the last years and is the only Caribbean-focused meeting of its kind. More than 200 scientists, policymakers, students, all with an interest in marine science and policy came to Curaçao to attend this five-day meeting.
Scientists working in the Caribbean gave presentations on the dynamics shaping Caribbean reef ecosystems and focused on solutions for recovery of imperiled coral reefs and fisheries. Examples of proposed solutions included a new focus on the protection of herbivores (like parrotfish and urchins), maintenance of high water quality and the use of both biological and cultural data for zonation.
Representatives of the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) presented a new standardized approach for monitoring the health of the region’s coral reefs and are working hard to build consensus for the adoption of these protocols. This would allow researchers and policymakers to compare study results on the health of different coral reefs and the effectiveness of different management actions throughout the Caribbean.
A special treat for the participants was the celebration of CARMABI’s 60th anniversary.
Dr. Mark Vermeij, Science Director at the CARMABI Research Institute said “It was good to see scientists and policy makers interact. This interaction between science, policy and management is essential to generate cost effective reef management strategies”.
In sum, the AMLC meeting was far more than just a conference. It was a productive exchange of data, strategies, and solutions that will enable Caribbean islands to reverse the declining health of their coral reefs and fisheries, and make strides towards using the ocean without using it up.
(From: Conference In Curaçao Focuses On Solutions For Restoring Reefs On Blue Halo Islands And Beyond. Curaçao Chronicle (June 1st 2015))