Belize is famous for its ancient Maya ruins and Caribbean shoreline. It also has hundreds of little islands, or cayes, that make it a fisherman’s paradise. Known for its bonefish and tarpon, Belize also has an overwhelming supply of snook, barracuda, snappers, and jack. Lately, anglers around the world are praising the country’s new legislation that combats illegal fishing and preserve the country’s marine ecosystem.
Тhе Fіѕhеrіеѕ Асt аnd Маnаgеd Ассеѕѕ Рrоgrаm, adopted in 2019 and implemented in 2020, led to a new ecosystem-based management system. It farther provided an advisory council to get fishing communities involved in fishing laws, and helping to manage the pristine marine reserves. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, the new program has joined forces with the Managed Access Program set up in 2016 and 2017 to reduce illegal fishing and improve reefs.
The results have been positive. In one week, Belize rose in the Reef Health Index from 3 to 5, the highest rating among countries in the Meso-American Reef System, which also includes Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala. Eric Schwab, ЕDF Осеаnѕ Рrоgrаm Ѕеnіоr Vісе Рrеѕіdеnt, praised Belize for its international commitment to marine conservation and making oceans less susceptible to climate change.
Since 2011, the EDF has worked with the Bеlіzе Fіѕhеrіеѕ Dераrtmеnt аnd Wіldlіfе Соnѕеrvаtіоn Ѕосіеtу to reform the industry. Schwab says the new rules will create a more efficient system of managing fisheries, maintaining populations of fish and enabling science-based monitoring, including vessel monitoring systems.
In a press release, Веlіzе Fіѕhеrіеѕ Аdmіnіѕtrаtоr Веvеrlу Wаdе said the new law will help fishing villages sustain their livelihoods while offering greater protection of the country’s fragile, one-of-a-kind marine environment. According to Wade, the change represents a new way of thinking about the fishing industry, extending the focus from harvesting to greater environmental oversight of marine and freshwater.
The legislation will spotlight the social impact achieved by responsible enforcement of the laws. This will have a positive impact on governmental, non-governmental and fishing agencies. It will also improve the lives of the people and of the strength of the agencies that work with the fishing industry.
For thousands of Belizean fishermen concerned about the effects of the diminishing fish populations on their trade, this offers a ray of hope. By reducing illegal fishing, fishermen can look forward to an ample supply of fish, conch, and lobster. Likewise, they can help with the preservation of a delicate ecosystem that makes the country special.
If you are a fishing enthusiast looking for a unique and unforgettable fishing experience, check out our Belize fishing packages.
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