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Belize pioneers managed access for its coastal fisheries by Jewel Fraser October 05,2017   |  Source: SeafoodSource

In the past year, Belize, a small Central American country located between Guatemala and Mexico with a coastline of about 400 kilometers and generally a low profile in global affairs, has quietly become a world leader in marine conservation.

It has done so by changing its entire coastal fisheries from open access to managed access. The new managed access program began last year and now requires Belize's 2,800 fishers to obtain licenses to fish in two designated areas of their choice along the coast and keep accurate records of their catches. The program uses a rights-based approach to motivate fishers to respect geographical and seasonal fishing restrictions, catch size, and some quotas.

“Belize is one of the first countries in the world to have a managed access fisheries along the entire coast,” Gavin McDonald, project researcher with Fish Forever which helped establish Belize's managed access program, told SeafoodSource.

McDonald said there are eight access areas in Belize's coastal waters, where fishermen involved in export fish mainly for lobster, conch, and shrimp. An article posted on the Belize Fisheries Department's Facebook page noted that Belize's fisheries brought in USD 29 million (EUR 24.7 million) in revenue in 2012, the most recent year for which


© 2017 Diversified Communications

Theme(s): Fisheries Development and Aquaculture.

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