Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Belize Fisheries Department

Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association Blends Tradition with Technology to Save Belize’s Marine Ecosystems

Since 2013 the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA) has received its mandate as the official co-manager of the marine reserve from the Government of Belize through the Belize Fisheries Department. The award-winning nonprofit blends traditional engagement strategies and technology to redefine marine conservation and improve management effectiveness, which IUCN defines as ‘how well-protected areas are managed.’

Hol Chan Marine Reserve recognizes staff and partners in appreciation gala

The Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) hosted an appreciation celebration at El Patio Restaurant on Saturday, February 3rd, where they thanked their staff for their hard work and recognized several island stakeholders for their continued support. The gathering celebrated the organization’s achievements and partnership with the island community, highlighting the efforts for better tourism, fisheries, and conservation management.

Belize Tourism Board Recognizes Frontline Hero: Dwyane Garcia

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is proud to announce and celebrate Dwayne Garcia as the most recent recipient of the Frontline Hero Award. Dwayne's unwavering dedication and remarkable journey in his role as Coxswain and Captain at the Conservation Compliance Unit (CCU) of the Belize Fisheries Department have made him a shining example of heroism in Belize.

Illegal Pier at Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve continues to cause concerns on Ambergris Caye

Even though structures are not permitted in marine reserves in Belize unless proper permits are issued by the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD), a pier was built at Robles Point within the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve in northern Ambergris Caye. The construction of the dock in this UNESCO World Heritage Site has made many islanders unhappy, who continue to call on the respective authorities to enforce the law. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the BFD are all aware of the situation, but little has been done to address the issue adequately.

Management plan for Bacalar Chico still in the works; illegal hunting continues

Concerned residents and conservationists in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, continue to report illegal activities, such as hunting, at the terrestrial portion of the Bacalar Chico National Park in the island’s northern part. According to reports, the wildlife at this park (deer, peccaries, etc.) is under constant threat, particularly on weekends. There are reportedly no park rangers to safeguard the surrounding natural habitats, and thus, there is reported abuse of the protected area. With the Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (SACD) taking control of the co-management of Bacalar Chico in March of this year, changes were expected to occur. The SACD has indicated that changes are coming as they continue developing a management plan for the site and begin having a partial presence by December of this year.

From rescue to resilience – Wildtracks inspires marine conservation stewards in Belize

In the heart of Belize, where the beautiful pristine waters of the Caribbean Sea meet the sandy shores, lies an incredible story of resilience, passion, and innovation. It's a tale of manatees and how a dedicated organization, Wildtracks, is not only working with the Belize Fisheries Department and other partners to save these gentle giants but also helping Belize become a shining example of marine conservation.

Construction of pier in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve raises concerns among stakeholders on Ambergris Caye

The construction of a pier within the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve in northern Ambergris Caye has raised concerns among concerned residents who maintain that no such structures should be allowed in this sensitive marine area. The responsibility to manage these marine protected areas mainly falls on the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD), which plays a role in approving structures in sensitive marine areas. They know the situation and visited the site at Robles Point over a week ago with the local authorities to issue a Stop Order. Despite the order to halt any further construction, it has reportedly continued. As a result, the Fisheries Department is now looking at other alternatives to address the problem.

Queen Conch and Stone Crab seasons opening on Sunday, October 1st in Belize

On Sunday, October 1st, the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) and the Florida Stone Crab (Menippe mercenaria) fishing seasons officially open. In the case of the Stone Crab, of which only the claws are harvested, the season will close on June 30, 2024, while the Queen Conch closing season is the same as the Stone Crab’s. The season will close if the conch production quota is filled earlier.