Port Honduras Marine Reserve
Port Honduras Marine Reserve (PHMR), in the southern coastal waters of Belize, is a semi-estuarine system that stretches from Monkey River to beyond Rio Grande, extending approximately 8 kilometers out to sea.
PHMR was first established in 2000 for its role in maintaining the viability of local populations of the West Indian manatee. Following its establishment, the reserve has also been highlighted for its value as a fish nursery area and was included in national requirements for biodiversity protection.
It contains a diverse set of ecosystems – coastal and tidal wetlands, coral reef, extensive sea-grass and mangrove, but excludes the approximately 240 cayes lying within the overall area. An important resource for local fishermen, the marine reserve has also been highlighted for its relatively high value as a fish nursery area, and its role in maintaining the viability of local manatee populations.
The ranger station, located strategically on Abalone Caye in the middle of the reserve, is the central hub for TIDE’s enforcement and research activities. Its central location allow for more patrol effectiveness (particularly in the Snake Caye Replenishment Zones), requiring less effort from fisheries to submit Managed Access catch data on the caye, allowing for increased effectiveness of the pilot program. A team of TIDE rangers based at the newly refurbished ranger station at Abalone Caye carries out enforcement throughout the reserve.
The use of long-lines, gill nets and beach traps is prohibited throughout the reserve.
Replenishment Zone (4%)
Only non-extractive recreational activities are permitted.
Preservation Zone (1%)
No person is permitted entry unless for pre-approved, non-extractive research purposes.