THE MESOAMERICAN & UTILA CORAL REEF SYSTEM
Read more about the importance of the MesoAmerican marine ecosystem and how our Utila coral reef nursery project aims to have a positive impact!
The Utila Coral Reef is part of the Mesoamerican Reefs System that stretches along the eastern coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. At just over 1,000km (620 miles), the Mesoamerican Reef is less than half the length of the Great Barrier Reef, but proudly the second largest reef system of the world. Learn more about the Utila Coral Reef and our Coral Nursery on our ‘facts page’.
It supports around 500 species of fish, 350 species of molluscs, and 60 species of corals, and is frequently visited by some of the most magnificent marine creatures, including the Whale Sharks.
In addition the Mesoamerican Reef supports a large portion (if not all) of the economies of the adjacent countries. Directly providing sustenance and livelihood for around 2 million people.
Renowned marine biologist, explorer and ocean activist Sylvia Earle’s organization Mission Blue, has also established the Mesoamerican Reef System as one of only 18 official Hope Spots. “Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean — Earth’s blue heart. Hope Spots are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to protect the ocean.
Hope Spots are often areas that need new protection, but they can also be existing MPAs where more action is needed. They can be large, they can be small, but they all provide hope due to:
A special abundance or diversity of species, unusual or representative species, habitats or ecosystems
Particular populations of rare, threatened or endemic species
A site with potential to reverse damage from negative human impacts
The presence of natural processes such as major migration corridors or spawning grounds
Significant historical, cultural or spiritual values
Particular economic importance to the community
Learn more about the Mesoamerican Reef Hope Spot