Friday, June 21, 2024

Hol Chan Marine Reserve installs and replaces buoys at Caye Caulker Marine Reserve


In the name of conservation, the enforcement and compliance team from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve installed four new moorings buoys at the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve on Monday, February 12th. The Hol Chan team also replaced two damaged buoys in the popular marine reserve.
According to Hol Chan management, using buoys helps protect marine ecosystems. Without buoys, boat crews would drop their anchors to the seafloor, threatening the marine ecosystems thriving on the seabed. According to them, anchoring on seagrass areas can harm some fish species as these are nursery grounds. Other species, like conch, which are vital for the fisheries industry, can also be affected by anchoring activities.
Anchors can also damage coral. In this area at the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, one of the main attractions for tourism is the reef. These delicate organisms take years to grow and can easily break. As such, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve encourages tour operators and other visitors to these protected areas to be responsible and use the mooring buoys available. “Our team will continue placing additional buoys, and we cannot stress enough and appeal to all boat captains to use them properly,” Hol Chan management stated.
The Hol Chan administration, which manages large areas between Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, added that mooring buoys are a management tool to conserve the local marine ecosystems and advocate for conservation. They noted that within Hol Chan Marine Reserve, south of Ambergris Caye, boats are not allowed to anchor at the recreational sites but must use designated buoys; failure to do so can result in fines or other penalties. The organization also noted that over the past months, they have ensured that the moorings are maintained and replaced when they break or go missing. They asked boat captains to report damages or missing buoys to their offices at 226-2247 or email images to [email protected].
Hol Chan Marine Reserve would like to thank all the tourism stakeholders for their assistance and support. They look forward to continuing working with the Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker communities throughout 2024.

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