Belize gets rave reviews for fishing policy

Belize gets rave reviews for fishing policy

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.

For more information about Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Getting Rid of Single Use Plastics in Belize  

GETTING RID OF SINGLE-USE PLASTICS IN BELIZE

The recent signing of the Environment Protection Regulations for the year 2020 signals the end to single-use plastics within the country of Belize. While this legislation will not see its enforcement begin immediately, people will have one year to phase out of using any sort of product that features plastics only good for a single-use. One year is seen as more than sufficient time for businesses to find and implement suitable plastic replacements for their business operations.

Godwin Hulse, Belize’s Minister of Environment (DoE), notes that Belize cannot continue to use single-use plastics if it hopes to keep its natural beauty for decades and centuries to come. Hulse went on to say that he did not want to panic Belizeans into thinking the DoE was coming after them. The concept comes first and that concept is that people need to be educated about how plastic can pollute the water, harm the Belize Barrier Reef and ruin facilities.

Hulse went on to comment about how plastic used to be perceived by the Belizean public of his youth. In Hulse’s time, a plastic bag was seen as a great multitasker for purposes like use as a school book bag. Hulse also commented on the past in order to highlight just how prevalent plastics have become within Belize in just a few decades to the point that they are a major problem.

The goal of the new ban is to remove Styrofoam and plastics in favor of materials like hemp, which is known for its biodegradability. The Belizean government is ready for the transition to more environmentally viable materials if only to curtail complaints that they would be more expensive; the real cost paid by the continued use of such materials is the loss of beauty Belize would suffer. Hulse believes that framing the discussion in this light will turn most Belizeans over to the idea of preferring renewable, multi-use materials.

Hulse closed his speech about the transition by stating that the Government of Belize fully supports those businesses that can create goods with non-plastic resources. Furthermore, it encourages other businesses to look through their operations in order to come up with workarounds to the phasing out of plastic.

As one of Belize’s leading resorts, Chabil Mar commends the effort at keeping Belize’s natural beauty intact. If you need a place to stay while visiting Belize, consider booking a villa with us.

For more information about Belize and Chabil Mar, chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

inland blue hole belize

Located in Belize’s western Cayo District near the capital of Belmopan, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is a site of natural beauty spanning more than 500 acres (2 square kilometers) in size. Three of the principal attractions are the inland Blue Hole, St. Herman’s Cave, and the Crystal Cave.

Visitors to the park usually enter off the Hummingbird Highway. Located about 200 yards from the visitor center is St. Herman’s Cave which was used for centuries by Maya priests to conduct ceremonies and to collect water dripping from stalactites that they considered to be holy. St. Herman’s Cave is an enormous underground structure but it is possible for unguided visitors to make their way approximately 200 yards into the cave before they will need a trained guide to go further. At the rear of the cave is a stream, allowing visitors to float their way back to the cave entrance using an inner tube.

St. Herman’s Cave is connected by an underground stream to the Blue Hole, often referred to as the Inland Blue Hole to prevent confusion with the Belize Blue Hole located offshore in the Belize Barrier Reef. The (Inland) Blue Hole is where the underground stream comes to the surface, providing visitors with a source of cool and refreshing water for swimming. Formed by the collapse of a cavern, the Blue Hole measures about 8 meters (26 feet) deep and is almost perfectly round with a diameter of 100 meters (330 feet).

Beyond the Blue Hole lies the Crystal Cave, sometimes called the Mountain Cow Cave. Visitors will need the assistance of a trained guide to explore spectacularly beautiful stalactites and caverns shimmering with accumulated crystalline structures. Just as with St. Herman’s Cave, the Crystal Cave was a sacred cite for the Ancient Maya who believed that it was a nexus to the world of the gods.

During the path to the country’s independence, Belize acquired the land in and around St. Herman’s Cave, declaring it a park on November 23, 1986. In order to maintain and preserve the natural beauty of the park, foreign non-profit organizations were brought in. Currently, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is maintained and operated by the Belize Audubon Society.

The park is located approximately 12 miles southeast of Belmopan and both entrances are located immediately adjacent to the Hummingbird Highway. The principle entrance leads to a visitor center, gift shop, hiking trails, a picnic area and the path to St. Herman’s Cave. The second entrance leads to a picnic area, hiking trails, washrooms and leads directly to the Blue Hole.


Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.

 

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins in San Ignacio, Belize

cahal-pech-maya-ruins-belize

Now perched on the highest hill overlooking San Ignacio Town, the Maya ruins of Cahal Pech were originally built as an enclave for the elite. Located in a gorgeous natural setting and surrounded by tropical birds and colorful jungle fauna, Cahal Pech is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Belize. An informative museum on the grounds gives visitors an introduction to the hilltop city and features a dazzling collection of artifacts found at the site.

Layout of Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Today, archeologists have excavated a total of 34 structures in Cahal Pech in an area measuring just over two acres in size. The “downtown” portion of Cahal Pech includes several temple pyramids, residence buildings, and seven impressive courtyards. The tallest structure on the site is a temple that measures 77 feet high. Other attractions at Cahal Pech include a ceremonial altar, five historical stelae, and two ball courts.

History of Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Archeologists estimate that Cahal Pech was first founded around 1,000 years Before the Common Era. During the Classic Period (300-800 of the Common Era) of the Maya civilization, most of the surviving buildings, including the largest temples and palaces, were constructed during this time. Around the year 800, the citizens of Cahal Pech abandoned the city for unknown reasons, particularly mysterious because nearby Maya sites in Belize continued to be thriving population centers for several more centuries.

Although the original name for the site is lost to history, today it is called Cahal Pech, a combination Yucatan/Mopan Maya term meaning “place of the ticks”. This was the name local cattle farmers in the 1950s gave to the area.

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins Tour Information

Visitors to Cahal Pech are encourage to wear comfortable, loose, lightweight clothing and proper shoes. Long pants are recommended over shorts as they will help give additional protection from insects. All visitors are encouraged to bring plenty of drinking water, and fair-skinned individuals are recommended to make ample use of sunscreen and hats.

The Cahal Pech Visitor’s Center is open Monday through Sunday, and contains a reconstructed model of the entire site.

Chabil Mar in Placencia & Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

The award-winning Chabil Mar resort on the Placencia Peninsula offers its guests organized tours and vacation packages that include a visit to Cahal Pech. Guests can choose to include a tour of Cahal Pech as part of the resort’s popular Belize Reef and Jungle vacation package.

For more information about things to see and do in Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Top Ten Reasons to Love Belize for Scuba Diving

Thanks to a combination of the reef, a white sandy seafloor, and crystal clear waters, Belize is one of the world’s best places to enjoy scuba diving.

Here are 10 reasons why you’ll love scuba diving in Belize:

Belize Blue Hole

Rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of his top 10 favorite dive sites in the world. Measuring some 300 meters across, the Belize Blue Hole sits above an enormous system of flooded caves and caverns. For experienced divers only.

Lighthouse Reef

The Belize Blue Hole lies in the center of Lighthouse Reef, but there are plenty of excellent dive spots around the reef itself, including Half Moon Wall, the Gorgonian Forest, and the Silver Cayes.

Gladden Spit

Located on the outer edge of the Belize Barrier Reef, Gladden Spit is part of a protected marine park. Measuring 15 miles by 6.5 miles, there are plenty of rewarding dive spots where divers can see unique species found nowhere else.

Whale Sharks

Every year during springtime, migrating whale sharks pass through Belize near Gladden Spit. The largest fish in the oceans, whale sharks pose no risk to humans, giving divers a truly unique opportunity to approach these gentle giants. To protect the whale sharks, only authorized tour operators are allowed to approach, and the number of divers in the area is strictly regulated.

Turneffe Atoll

Turneffe Atoll in the Rain

One of the top diving spots in the country, the Turneffe Atoll has several islands and lagoons brimming with beautiful spots ideal for diving.

Silk Cayes

A national marine park, the waters of Silk Caye near Gladden Spit have some spectacular walls and holes for divers to explore.

South Water Caye

There is a natural cut in the reef near South Water Caye, giving divers an excellent opportunity to see diverse marine flora and fauna.

Laughing Bird Caye

Another one of Belize’s national parks, the island is known for its excellent snorkeling. But divers benefit from crystal clear waters and a kaleidoscope of marine life.

Long Coco Spit

Approximately three miles from Laughing Bird Caye, this formation is ideal for novice divers. Perfect for observing enormous schools of fish and black coral.

The Wreck of Miss Pamela

Laughing Bird Caye by Kurt Repanshek Chabil Mar Belize Resort

In 2002, the Miss Pamela was deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef. Clear waters and an abundance of huge barracuda feeding on schools of fish make this a rewarding dive.

For more information about scuba diving in Belize or Placencia,  feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

 

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