Belize Fisheries Department
From its inception on January 1, 1965 as the Fisheries Unit Laboratory, the department has grown in its capacity and mandate to now provide the country with the best possible management of aquatic and fisheries resources. The Department strives to encourage sustainable conservation and development by leveraging scientific research and stakeholder knowledge.
Annual Export Earnings
Active Fisherfolk Licensed
Marine Reserves in Network
Islands and Coastal Cayes
Marine Protected Areas
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Licenses & Permits
Licensing ensures that access to fisheries resources is managed, assuring that fishers and other fisheries-dependent industries are protected.
Sustainable use and development depends on informed and empowered communities.
The Fisheries Department under the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation is headed by the Fisheries Administrator. Technical and Administrative Units carry out its functions. Responsibilities include conservation and sustainable use of fishery resources, registration and licensing, fisheries research, education, liaising with fishing cooperatives, management of marine reserves, fisheries law enforcement, and management of export and research permits.
What are the requirements for a fisherfolk license?
Applicants must provide valid identification, proof of address and be at least 18-years old. Click for more details
What's required for a fishing vessel license?
The owner or master of the vessel must have a valid commercial fisherfolk license. And the vessel must have a valid sea worthy certificate issued by the Belize Port Authority. Click for more details
What is Managed Access?
Stake-holder focused approach of managing fishers to secure jobs, empower fishers and enhance food security. Click for more details
When do fishing seasons open?
This varies by species to different periods within the year based on the fisheries regulations. Other species should not be taken at all, at any time. Click for more details
Have a question ? Get in touch!
If you have questions about permits or regulations or just need some technical advice, feel free to send us a message.
Spearheaded by the Fisheries Department, the Belize Marine Climate Change Adaptation Project builds capacity within local communities that are directly affected by climate impacts, to act as champions of marine managed areas and the resources upon which these communities depend.