Fishermen in Belize are encouraged to cultivate seaweed instead of over-fishing
19 October, 2005 - FISHERMEN in Belize in Central America, are being encouraged to cultivate seaweed as an alternative to over-fishing and a means of bringing in extra cash, channel5belize.com reported.
In Belize, seaweed is primarily used to make a local beverage but in the last few years many new products containing seaweed have appeared on the regional market. According to Allan Smith, a Carribean Natural Resources Institute Reasearch Associtate, Belize is in a unique position because it is home to one of the most marketable of Caribbean seaweeds.
The main seaweed harvested in Belize is eucheuma, which reportedely grows quickly and stays clean on the farm lines. This seaweed can also be harvested in a very short period of time and has been the most successful species grown so far, according to Mr Smith.
A spokesperson for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said that seaweed cultivation would give fishermen an alternative to over-fishing and a variety of different income generating activities. She added that mariculture of seaweed is also helpful to the environment and is a positive type of aquaculture. Efforts are now being made to set up a pilot farm that will include the participation of local fishermen.
Belize is in central America, and borders the Caribbean Sea, between Guatemala and Mexico. www.fishupdate.com
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