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All researchers with the intent to conduct Scientific Research (SR) in Belize are required to obtain a SR permit from Belize Fisheries Department (BFD)
SCTLD Response must be a multi-prong approach at all levels. There is no clear-cut path to take when addressing SCTLD, each country along with local organizations must work together to find a best fit approach for their specific local, national, and regional context based on human and financial resources and response capacity and expertise.
The Oceans Economy and Trade Strategy project was developed to assist developing countries in realizing the full potential of oceans economy sectors. This report was prepared in consultation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations and the Government of Belize. The overall aim of the report is to assess the marine fisheries sector, particularly for finfish; and seafood processing sectors for queen conch and spiny lobster, so as to facilitate the preparation of an Oceans Economy Trade Strategy for two sectors selected by Belize during a stakeholder workshop held in November 2018. Legal & institutional, and economic studies were conducted prior to the aforementioned stakeholder workshop in November 2018 where results provided additional context for the development of strategies and action plan for Belize in this report.
Belize’s fisheries sector has supported over 2,500 fishers directly and over 15,000 Belizeans indirectly (BFD, 2019). The fisheries and seafood processing sector also support the ever-growing tourism sector in Belize by supplying the restaurant and hotel industry with finfish, spiny lobster, and queen conch in addition to exporting large volumes of these products. In 2018,
Belize exported 1.8 million pounds of seafood product valuing at 18.6 million USD (SIB, 2019). Total production over the ten-year period has yielded steady catch of spiny lobster and queen conch which are now classified as mature fisheries, while the potential for deep sea fishing has long been identified as a potential commercial stock (BFD,2019). Therefore, the economic interests of the fisheries sector must be taken into account as we aim to maximize the benefits of Belize’s ocean bounty while maintaining ecosystem health.
DRAFT Report prepared for UNCTAD and DOALOS
Belize launched a national preparatory process in advance of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) scheduled for Rio de Janeiro in June 2012, with financial support from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The national preparation process consisted of three phases: the preparation of a national stocktaking report based on sector-specific reports. Information for sector reports and national report was obtained from literature review and interviews. Key documents reviewed included national strategies, action plans and policy documents from all economic sectors of key relevance to sustainable development and the UNCSD. Prepared by Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, Belize, United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs (UNDESA), and United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
In spite of a relatively short coastline, of about 386 km, Belize borders a marine environment of great significance in terms of living resources and biodiversity: off the shores of the country lies one of the largest coral reef barriers or the world. The fisheries sector plays an important role in the Belize national economy... Capture fisheries production in coastal waters mainly concentrates on two valuable resources: lobster and queen conch. Prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
This document details a proposal for a national adaptive multispecies finfish management plan for Belize. The plan’s development and implementation are initiatives of the Belize Fisheries Department, in compliance with the provisions of the Fisheries Resources Act of 20201 and in accordance with the National Fisheries Policy, Strategy & Action Plan (NFPSAP) of Belize and the OETS.
The proposed plan was developed with support from UNCTAD, DOALOS and EDF, and with input and expertise from dozens of stakeholders and international experts who participated in discussions and workshops.
Healthy finfish populations are important to the food security and livelihoods of thousands of Belizeans. Through an adaptive and integrated multispecies management approach, the proposed finfish management plan aims to ensure healthy ecosystems and sustainable use of fishery resources, even as climate change imposes unprecedented impacts. The management plan is based on three prioritized ecological and socioeconomic objectives:
1. sustainability and resilience of food security
2. sustainable economic growth and improved livelihoods
3. abundant finfish populations to support healthy ecosystems
Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) was first seen in Florida in 2014 and since, other locations in the Caribbean have identified similar signs of the disease on their reefs. As of August 1, 2019, the disease has been confirmed in the Caribbean countries and territories of Jamaica, Mexico, Sint Maarten, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Thomas), the Turks and Caicos Islands and Belize. The disease is characterized by its high mortality rate. Affected coral colonies present lesions that rapidly expand outward and can ultimately kill all live tissue.
The disease affects over 20 coral species of hard corals (Table 1) and is contagious between individual corals and among coral species. Highly susceptible species, such as the pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus) are often the first to show signs of the disease, with the species of intermediate and low susceptibility showing signs thereafter. It is water-borne and can also spread through contact. Research to determine the pathogen(s) involved is ongoing and although one is yet to be determined, applications of the antibiotic amoxicillin have curbed disease progression in both laboratory and field experiments. Identification of SCTLD is based on a multi-factor field diagnosis based on the characteristics such as species affected, the order in which species are affected, and
prevalence of affected colonies within a given area.
Coral reefs sustain fisheries and tourism, the backbone of Belize´s economy and livelihoods. Coral reefs also provide coastal protection from the impact of tropical storms and hurricanes, by reducing exposure to strong waves, flooding and erosion. However, in turn, hurricanes inflict considerable damage to the reef reducing coral cover and structural complexity. Dislodgement and displacement of massive boulder colonies, broken tips and edges to total fragmentation of branched corals and sometimes structural fractures, are some of the effects of cyclone impact to the reef. Without intervention, affected organisms can be moved continuously by the current, become overturned or buried by sediment, leading to severe tissue loss and abrasion and preventing their reattachment and recovery. Addressing impacts quickly and effectively is critical to reduce the risk of subsequent damage to affected corals and for increasing the likelihood that reefs will continue to provide valuable services to local communities in the future.
Therefore, Belize Government through the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration, hereby creates the Post-Storm Emergency Response Committee to address the effects caused by hurricanes in coral reefs.
Fisheries Department with the support of The Mesoamerican Reef Fund and The Nature Conservancy
The objective of the ESMF is to set out guidelines for the implementation of project activities that have a potential for a direct or indirect environmental or social impacts and to ensure that such impacts are properly identified, classified and that plans to mitigate any potential adverse impacts have been made. The basic approach of the ESMF follows WWF policy in “WWF Environmental and Social Safeguards Policies and Procedures.” It is also informed by internationally recognized ESMF procedures required by such agencies as the World Bank, IFC, IADB, ADB and adherents to the Equator Principles.
In line with both Fisheries Department and NPAPSP recommendations, this Management Plan has been prepared with the input of the various stakeholders of the Atoll through meetings with the Advisory Committee, and interviews with a wide variety of individuals, including fishermen, tourism sector, management staff and researchers, and seeks to protect the resources of the reserve while allowing economic benefit through sustainable fishing and tourism. The management programs are based on the best available data and scientific knowledge, with the integration of conservation planning strategies, and fit within the scope of the current zoning scheme and regulations that govern the reserve.
The management plan, submitted to Fisheries Department, is designed to guide the management of the Marine Reserve through the next five years, providing a framework for both broad management activities as well as more specific research and monitoring activities. Detailed operational plans will be developed on an annual basis by the Fisheries Department, the Marine Reserve management agency, based on the framework provided by this management plan, and an annual review of implementation success will allow for adaptive management over the five year period.
This report provides recommendations for community engagement and empowerment strategies targeted at Dangriga and Hopkins that encourage stakeholder participation in the management and conservation of the natural resources of the Marine Reserve, contributing towards Outcome 2 of the MAR Fund KfW project for Conservation of Marine Resources in Central American (South Water Caye Marine Reserve). “The participation of civil society in best management practices and the sustainable use of marinecoastal resources has been advanced.”
The report also looks at the enabling environment required for successful engagement of communities, with identification of synergies and areas for strengthening of communication, collaboration and coordination across stakeholders at the local level. This is essential to achieve strong, long term, sustainable outcomes with proactive participation of communities in the management of the protected area, and promotion of ownership.
The Management Plan summarises the outputs of the conservation planning processes - for the Marine Reserve itself, for the larger seascape, and for ridge to reef connectivity, and integrates climate change assessment outputs. It identifies the management challenges, and defines the goals and objectives of management.
The Plan provides a framework for both broad management strategies as well as more specific activities to achieve the goals of maintaining ecosystem functions and natural resource values. It outlines specific management programs, based on the best available data and scientific knowledge, integrating conservation planning strategies, as well as relevant strategies of national and regional plans. It also sets in place the means for measuring management effectiveness, and recommends an implementation schedule. It is recommended that detailed annual operational plans be developed based on the framework provided by this management plan, with an annual review of implementation success, allowing for adaptive management over the five-year period – 2019 to 2023.
This Management Plan provides the contextual background for informed management decision making, and a structured framework of activities to assist TIDE, the Fisheries Department (the legislated management authority), and other partners to ensure Port Honduras Marine Reserve continues to support both biodiversity and livelihoods.
The management of Port Honduras is guided by its categorization as a marine reserve, designated under the Fisheries Act, being set aside: “To ensure, increase and sustain the productive service and integrity of the marine resources for the benefit of all Belizeans of present and future generations.”
This Management Plan has been developed by the Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment (TIDE), as the co-management partner, to guide the organization and its partners
through the next five years (2017 – 2012). In line with the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan, it reflects the participatory approach to management being adopted in Belize
today, with the input of key stakeholders of PHMR, through focal group meetings, interviews with a wide variety of individuals (including key fishing and tourism stakeholders), PHMR staff
(both at management and field level), and the Port Honduras Advisory Council.
In line with the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan, this Management Plan has been prepared with the input of the various stakeholders of the protected area through meetings with SEA staff, a series of workshops with key stakeholder components, and interviews with a wide variety of individuals, including fishermen, the tourism sector, management staff
and researchers. It seeks to conserve the resources of the reserve while allowing economic benefit through sustainable fishing and tourism. The management programmes are based on
the best available data and scientific knowledge, with the integration of conservation planning strategies, and fit within the scope of the current zoning scheme and regulations that govern the protected area, except where recommended management regimes are highlighted for review.
This management plan is designed to guide the management of the Marine Reserve through the next five years, providing a framework for both broad management activities as well as more
specific research and monitoring activities. It is recommended that detailed operational plans be developed based on the implementation format, on an annual basis by the Southern
Environmental Association, based on the framework provided by this management plan, with an annual review of implementation success, allowing for adaptive management over the five year period.
Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve is one of three protected areas managed by Southern Environmental Association (SEA), and a component of the Southern Belize Reef Complex. This five year management plan has been developed to provide guidance to SEA and the Fisheries Department, co-management partners, towards effective management of the Marine Reserve.
MAF Chief Executive Officer, Gabino Canto, prepared a report describing the vision, mission, programmes, and priorities of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The ministry's vision is for a transformed and modern sector that is fully competitive, diversified, and sustainable. He said the mission of the Ministry is to continue as the economic pillar of Belize and to ensure food security, develop risk management, generate income and foreign exchange, create employment, and conserve natural
resources. He pointed out that projects were implemented in 2009 to increase.