Friday, May 24, 2024

Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association

Reef restoration continues at Turneffe Atoll following Hurricane Lisa via MAR Fund Insurance

On November 2nd, Category 1 Hurricane Lisa battered a section of the Belize Barrier Reef system by Turneffe Atoll as the storm moved towards mainland Belize. The damage caused to the fragile corals became a concern as it was unknown where the resources would come from to assess and restore the affected areas. That problem was soon resolved after a $175,000 payout under the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Insurance Programme was issued to finance an immediate reef response.

National Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus) Stock Assessment

The Belize Fisheries Department held a National Spiny Lobster Stock Assessment Workshop from June 20–24, 2022 in Belize City in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund and with expert support from Cuba’s Centro de Investigaciones Pesqueras (CIP)/ Center for Fisheries Research). The workshop convened scientists, fishery managers, and other stakeholders to conduct a scientific assessment of the spiny lobster population in Belize to inform the sustainable management of the lobster fishery.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve to spearhead emergency response brigade training 

From the 17th to the 20th of May, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve will train advanced-level divers to create an emergency response brigade. The brigade will assess damages to the barrier reef following any major natural disaster. The Rapid Response and Emergency Reef Restoration Course training collaborates with the Fisheries Department, the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association, The Nature Conservancy, and the Mesoamerican Reef Fund. The deadline for the application is February 11th, and the training is free of cost.

Hol Chan staff participates in Rapid Response Reef Restoration Training held in Ambergris Caye

Staff from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve participated in a course to train first responders how to develop theoretical and practical skills, knowledge and attitudes and join response brigades in the event of a major storm or disturbance to Belize's barrier reef. Due to COVID-19 regulations, the training was held in two phases from July 26th to the 30th, with participants from Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala. Held in San Pedro, the second part of the course is scheduled from 23rd to 27th August. However, three days before these dates, there will be a workshop to train participants to become trainers.