A community initiative to bring an end to the demand for parrotfish for human consumption has been targeting restaurants in and around La Paz to take the pledge not to offer these ecologically important species on their menus.
Parrotfishes are a group of 90+ species that make up the family, Scaridae. These fish get their name from their teeth which are tightly packed together forming a parrot-like beak which they use to graze algae from coral and rocks. As well as helping to keep the algae on the reefs in healthy balance with the ecosystem, this grazing contributes to a process known as bioerosion whereby living animals erode coral, rocks and shells to form the sand on our beaches.
Community group, Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti, has been campaigning in and around La Paz to bring an end to the demand for this ecologically important group of fishes in order to restore and protect critical reef habitats around the Espiritu Santo Archipelago off the coast of La Paz, Mexico.
Directed by marine biologist, Lucia Corral, Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti has been systematically targeting popular restaurants to urge them to take the pledge not to trade in parrotfish species. The team has targetted 33 popular restaurants in total and so far 13 have agreed on this call of action. Work is in progress to include the remaining targeted restaurants in the pledge.
Of these 13 restaurants, the chefs of three have participated in recorded interviews filmed by team member Leonardo Gonzàlez who then went on to produce the videos below for social media outreach.
Please watch these three interviews with the chefs of Anzuelo Cocina del Mar, Tres Virgines and Barcaccia Cucina Italiano giving their own accounts of the importance of protecting and preserving the Espiritu Santo Archipelago.
You can follow the efforts of the group on Facebook here.
“Espiritu Santo is part of me.”
*All videos are Spanish audio with English subtitles.
Watch the video featuring executive chef Fernanda Orona of restaurant Anzuelo Cocina del Mar.
Watch the interview featuring the head chef, Jesus Chavez Partida, of restaurant Las Tres Virgenes.
Watch the interview featuring the chef, Andrea Statzu of restaurant La Barcaccia Cucina Italiana
How you can help
There are several ways that you can help us to secure a healthy future for the Espiritu Santo Archipelago.
Think about what you consume from the ocean
In particular, consider avoiding species of fishes that directly maintain the health of the reefs by grazing on algae while keeping it in natural balance with the ecosystem. These include parrotfish and surgeon fish.
Report any illegal or suspicious activities
Ecotourism captains and guides and general boaters are a great tool in the fight against illegal fishing practices. If you encounter any activities that you believe to be illegal or suspicious, try to obtain photographic and/or video evidence of the acts. Attempt to capture recognizible landmarks in the frame so there is no doubt as to where the activities were observed and also record the GPS coordinates. You can send the information to RED Observatorio Ciudadano or to us here at Sea Watch and we will ensure it goes through the proper channels.
Donate to our cause
By donating to Sea Watch, you can directly contribute to the great awareness work of Espiritu Santo es Parte de Ti or the highly effective vigilance efforts of RED Observatorio Ciudadano. You can donate by credit/debit card, Paypal or by sending a cheque to our registered mailing address. Visit our donate page for more details by clicking the donate button.