Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries
Expansion approved for Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Belmopan - 05 September, 2008
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Rene Montero, accompanied by the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Manuel Heredia, along with Chief Executive Officer, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr. Gabino Canto, and personnel from the Fisheries Department attended a Hol Chan Trust Fund meeting where the expansion of Zone C for the Hol Chan Marine Reserve was approved.
The expansion of Zone C will include the Cangrejo Cayes along with the surrounding sea grass beds. The Cangrejo area contains vital habitats which serve as nurseries for various commercial fish species and the Spiny Lobster, Panulirus argus.
The Cangrejo Marine habitats maintain the lobster fishery in Northern Belize viable. Apart from supporting the fishing industry, this area is heavily used by sports fishermen who visit Belize to target species such as the Bonny Fish, Tarpon and Permit. Sports fishing is catch and release. The area will be protected after many consultations with the various user groups such as the tour guides, fishermen and the public in general.
The contingent also visited the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park on North Ambergris Caye in order to familiarize the new leaders with the work being conducted in the area. The group visited the various zones within the marine reserve and stopped at the visitor centre for more detailed information on the background and purpose of the protected areas.
Minister Montero and CEO Canto committed to making available resources to improve the existing infrastructure facilities and management of the coastal and marine resources.http://www.governmentofbelize.gov.bz/press_release_details.php?pr_id=5123