Welcome to the Centre for Marine Studies
We are a Honduran non-governmental organization conducting applied research on coastal and marine ecosystems. Initially founded on the island of Utila in 2006, CEM (our acronym in Spanish) has grown and expanded to include work on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Honduras as well as regional projects focused on the Mesoamerican reef and the Gulf of Fonseca.
Combining applied ecological research with socio-economic studies, our interest is focused on providing holistic science with which to develop proactive management strategies for the sustainable use of coastal and marine resources.
CEM scientists conduct research to underpin the development of innovative management tools, regularly working in collaboration with scientists and leading institutions from around the globe. By creating a bridge of knowledge between academic research and local knowledge, CEM can highlight priorities for conservation, identify management requirements and find solutions to mitigate local and regional threats to sustainability from local and regional sources. In this way, results from science can be understood and used by the communities who rely on the integrity of the coastal ecosystems with which they interact.
On 24th June 2011 Honduras declared its entire maritime waters as a "Shark Sanctuary". This provides legal protection to sharks from fishing and also prohibits trade in their parts or derivatives. The centre is now working to develop management strategies for sharks that can help reduce their bi-catch by other fisheries, limit illegal trade and identify ways to expand their conservation to neighbouring countries in the region. Find out more...
The Lionfish (Pterois spp.) brings a new threat to the Caribbean, as voracious predators of crustaceans and juvenile fish. Around Utila CEM coordinated the lionfish control programme and investigating novel ways to tackle this invasive species. Find out more...
Click on the map for details of our projects
Licensing Campaign for Fishermen
The CITES approves to protect several species of shark
1st Utila lionfish derby a resounding success