Proceedings of the GULF AND CARIBBEAN FISHERIES INSTITUTE

From November 9 - 13, 2015, more than 350 fisheries biologists, students, scientists, managers, fishers, and representatives from various government departments and conservation groups from Caribbean countries met in Ciudad de Panamá (Panamá) to  explore how they might build networks of people, institutions, and protected areas to further the conservation of marine resources, habitats, and fisheries throughout the region. The 68th Gulf Caribbean Fisheries Institute was held at the RIU Plaza Panamá Hotel, and hosted by the Fundación MarViva. The theme of the Conference was "Two Oceans... Same Coastal Issues". The initiative was based on the interest of the membership of the GCFI to integrate their counterparts from the tropical eastern Pacific at the annual meetings of the Institute, with the aim of optimizing experiences and lessons learned, on the basis that our issues, challenges and opportunities are certainly comparable.

The 68th GCFI conference focused on applying fisheries and marine science to solve problems by bringing multiple users of ocean resources together to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to use sustainably use these resources. The emphasis was on the practical, interdisciplinary, and ecosystem-based approaches of marine special planning (MSP) and how effective MSP can make a difference in both conservation and development.