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...
Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE)
FORCE project is an integrated research project which takes an ecosystem approach, linking social and ecological aspects towards managing Caribbean coral reefs in the face of climate change. Find out more...
Small Scale Fisheries Management
One of the biggest challenges in the management of small scale fisheries is the lack of accurate information on the extent and scale of fishing activities. Working with fishing communities across five Central American countries CEM is pioneering a data collection network to improve our understanding of these important coastal fisheries. Find out more...
Click on the map for details of our projects
Honduran fisheries department confront the lionfish invasion
Fisheries inspectors able to record that shark is not marketed during Easter