Destination Wildlife, a publication focusing on promoting the responsible tourism, has recently published an article featuring travel to Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes in Belize. The article noted that the Belize Barrier Reef, of which both Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes are a part, are home to endangered sea turtle species as well as an important migratory destination for whale sharks.
The Destination Wildlife article focused on a number of different reasons why sustainable tourism to the region is so popular. Visitors can marvel at more than 30 species of reef fish that use the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve for spawning. This large-scale agglomeration of juvenile fish species is the main reason why migrating whale sharks visit the area every year, rising from the depths to feed on this abundance of food. Destination Wildlife also noted that the protected sandy beaches of the Silk Cayes serve as nesting sites for endangered species like the hawksbill turtle.
Destination Wildlife highlighted the fact that a collection of conservationist individuals and organizations are responsible for having the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes area declared a protected marine reserve in the year 2000. A number of residents from Placencia in Belize formed a group called The Friends of Nature (FoN) in 1993 in order to protect the area from long-term human impact. After successfully lobbying to have Laughing Bird Caye declared a national park in 1996, the FoN then convinced the Belize government to designate Gladden Spit and the nearby Silk Cayes a protected marine in 2000.
Destination Wildlife is an adherent of the guidelines and ideas of the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism. Destination Wildlife believes that a holistic cooperation between private and individual stakeholders is the best way to preserve cultural heritages and conserve the environment. The Cape Town Declaration was formulated during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002, a global conference attended by 280 delegates from around the globe.
The award-winning resort of Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula offers guests a number of comprehensive scuba diving packages that include diving with whale sharks for visitors who want to explore the natural wonders found at Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes. Chabil Mar also offers guided tours of the Monkey River, scuba diving packages of the Blue Hole, and trips to other top attractions on both land and sea in Belize.