Marine and Coastal Monitoring

Promoting the monitoring of marine protected areas and natural resources in Mexican seas

The Project

The project's objective is to promote monitoring of marine protected areas (MPAs) and the natural resources of Mexican seas, to understand the state of marine and coastal resources, and to encourage synergies that avoid duplication of efforts, facilitating decision-making.


In 2014, FMCN developed, with resources from The Walton Family Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Monitoreo Noroeste platform, a public portal containing metadata from monitoring databases in the Gulf of California and the North Pacific. In 2020, again, with the support of The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and its resources, the expansion of the platform formerly known as Monitoreo Noroeste to the Yucatan Peninsula began within the Infocéanos project. The metadata from the marine-coastal monitoring and research databases will be integrated into the Marine-Coastal Information and Analysis System (SIMAR), developed by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO, acronym in Spanish).

In parallel, FMCN collaborates with CONABIO in monitoring the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle). Between 2016 and 2017, the distribution and growth rates of red mangrove in five sites in northwestern Mexico were delineated using remote sensing techniques with support from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation. As of 2020, FMCN and CONABIO are working to extrapolate the remote sensing methodology for R. mangle in the Yucatan Peninsula.

The lines of work that guide the actions of the Marine-Coastal Monitoring project are:

  1. Development of a marine and coastal monitoring platform.
  2. Generation of information on the coverage and distribution of red mangrove in northwestern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula.
  3. Diagnosis of aquaculture in Mexico for the identification of lines of action towards sustainability.

FMCN collaborates with CONABIO to monitor the distribution and growth rates of red mangrove in northwestern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula.


The project has achieved a multi-year collaboration with Conabio in developing tools that enable marine-coastal monitoring and research in Mexico. Using remote sensing technologies, the distribution of red mangrove has been identified, and a metadata platform with marine and coastal monitoring and research information has been consolidated.

In 2022, the digital document "Diagnosis of Aquaculture in Mexico" was published, which contains a review and analysis of the current state of national aquaculture and the challenges that this activity will face. Coordinated by biologist Leonardo Vázquez, this document won second place in the 2020-2022 Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Award in the Fisheries or Aquaculture Research category.

During the second half of 2022, in collaboration with Conabio, we generated inputs that favor the conservation of red mangrove areas in the northwest of the country and a pilot site in the Yucatan Peninsula. The first distribution map of R. mangle was obtained for the entire North Pacific region, using a temporal composite of 2015-2020, which will allow identifying areas of degradation and mangrove colonization during this period, allowing establishing a baseline to investigate the effects of climate variations on the conservation or decline of red mangrove in the region.

Learn more about the project:


Donor: The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

  • Comisión Nacional para el Conocimiento y Uso de la Biodiversidad
  • The Nature Conservancy Mexico