Kayaking in the mangroves of the Padre Ramos Nature Reserve on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua is special to me. When I silently pass dugout canoes and ‘lanchas’ with waves and smiles, I note the coolers full of red snapper on their way to market in Managua, the United States, and Japan. This enormous estuary and nature reserve is very special because of the fish, birds, crabs, shrimp, sea turtles, caimans, and fishing communities that intrinsically rely on the mangrove ecosystem for their survival.
Did you know that 75% of all tropical commercial fish species pass part of their lives in the mangroves for shelter and food? (At least 50% of my life is there too!)
I am a wildlife biologist, so I highly recommend you visit the Mangrove Action Project for information about mangrove biology and conservation. They have recommendations for conserving these precious places, and they share incredible truths too. For example…
Traditional and indigenous coastal populations have found sustenance from mangroves for thousands of years, collecting products and resources in a sustainable manner. Mangroves are useful for firewood, medicinces, fibers, dyes, food, charcoal, and construction materials.
In the federally protected Estero Padre Ramos Nature Reserve, people are not permitted to harvest wood from mangroves for any reason. However, there is no funding for enforcing the federal laws, so some ‘poaching’ is inevitable.
We are all very much connected to the survival of these healthy and wild places! I would love to show you around my neighborhood anytime! http://www.ibiskayaking.com/