Ruom Collective
USAID Domincan Republic - Yamara


Harmful fishing techniques have decimated the fish population and are threatening coral reefs in the Sánchez Bay, a coastal town in the Dominican Republic.

Juan Calcaño (Yamara) is a fisherman and a passionate advocate for restoring the Sanchez Bay's fish life and sharing its natural wonders with tourists.

With USAID, Yamara is pioneering a new way of fishing that is helping to protect the bay's endangered coral reefs and restore a once thriving fish population.

Date: 2018 · Country: Dominican Republic · Video / Photos: Thomas Cristofoletti · Client: USAID

About 60 percent of the Caribbean’s living coral has been lost over the past 30 years, and today three-fourths of the coral reefs are either degraded or threatened. These underwater structures are the homes, and nurseries, for a variety of sea life. Their loss contributes to economic decline for communities that depend on the income that fishing brings.

USAID is working with countries throughout the Caribbean to conserve marine and coastal biodiversity, and to restore livelihoods for the people who call the region home. This project addresses harmful fishing practices with new techniques. USAID also supports coral nurseries so reefs can be restored and fish can repopulate the waterways.

The Agency and its partners are encouraging community-led ecotourism to share the region’s natural wonders with visitors. As many as 3,000 fishers rely on Samaná Bay for their livelihoods. USAID’s assistance is helping rehabilitate an important resource for this community – and beyond.