Saturday, May 18, 2024

Recent Coral Bleaching Event

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The Fisheries Department informs the public of the recent bleaching events impacting Belize’s reefs. These events are not uncommon and over the past decades have been caused mainly by a rise in seawater temperatures in combination with chronic local stressors and practices. This trend in occurrence and severity of mass coral bleaching events has been continuous. As such, a “prescription” for a “cure” is unavailable, hence, there is the need to rely on approaches that support the ability of coral ecosystems to become more tolerant, resistant, and resilient to their external stressors.
The department, in coordination with the National Coral Reef Monitoring Network, is currently assessing the extent of the bleaching and is working together with its partners to create a response plan to what may arguably be one of the worst bleaching events Belize’s reef system has experienced in the last decade.
The causes of these mass bleaching events are beyond our national actions; however, Belize aims to join countries like Barbados and Maldives in lobbying for more urgent carbon dioxide reductions and to ensure appropriate compensation/mitigation to address the damages already done. The agreement for establishing and operationalizing a loss and damage fund at the Conference of Parties (COP27) makes strides in ensuring that small island nations like Belize can continue efforts in safeguarding our national coral reef treasure, which is central to the security of our citizenry and livelihoods.

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