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#445005 - 08/22/12 05:40 PM Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye
Marty Online   happy

Zone 1 – Mexico Rocks Conservation Zone
Zone 2 – Mexico Rocks Gereral Use Zone
Zone 3 – Cayo Frances Conservation Zone
Zone 4 – Bajos General Use Zone
Zone 5 – Pajaros Conservation Zone
Zone 6 – Bajo Conservation Zone
Zone 7 – Cayo Rosario Conservation Zone
Zone 8 – Blackadore Large Conservation Zone
Zone 9 – Los Salones 2 Conservation Zone

The zoning and rules of the new marine reserve will be similar to that of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve which will include general use zones and conservation zones which will determine where commercial fishing, general use, sports fishing take place and determine no take zones and where different governing licenses will fall into place in order to properly monitor and protect the area. What is clear is that commercial fishing shall be allowed in the General Use Zones, but no spear fishing will be permitted within all the marine reserve.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

#445200 - 08/26/12 08:05 AM Re: Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Proposed protected areas get the green light from island residents

The Ambergris Caye Wetland Committee (ACWC) held its last in a series of consultations with islanders and stakeholders on their proposal to have three areas off and on Ambergris Caye declared as national reserves. The areas in question are Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve, Bajos proposed Marine Reserve and Mata/Cayo Frances lagoons. At the last consultation held on Tuesday night, August 21st, the team received no opposition to the proposal and as such, it is a go. The San Pedro Sun reported on this proposal on January 12, 2012 (Vol. 22, Issue #02).

The smallest of the three proposed areas is the Mexico Rock’s Marine Reserve. This particular area starts north of the Palmero Channel area, runs five miles south to Mata Channel and 1.5 miles wide for a total of 8.75sq miles. The reserve will begin at the coastline sea grass bed area and extend east to where the reef shelf drops off. A “no-take” zone has been designated in the middle of the perimeter, which is currently used for recreational activities. The size of the no take zone is 1.5 square miles (one mile running along the reef and 1.5 miles running east to west from the outer fore-reef). The no take area is positioned so as to provide a 1.5 mile buffer on the north and south sides of the perimeter.

The second area is the mangrove wetlands area in the central part of Ambergris Caye also known as the Mata and Cayo Frances lagoons. This national park is located three miles north of San Pedro Town. According to the ACWC, the area is bordered by Social Security lands to the west, and hotel developments on the coastal dunes of the windward side of the island. For the most part, the area is considered Government Land. The site is dominated with inundated wetlands and several inner island lagoons interconnected by a network of channels that are highly influenced by tidal exchanges of water that transport sediments, nutrients and many species throughout the system. The area also contains many sink holes that lead into an extensive network of underwater caverns that are yet to be explored, all while being home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and has been used as hunting grounds by many locals.

The largest of the three areas is the Bajos Conservation Area. The Bajos Marine Protected Area is located between the southern portion of western Ambergris Caye and mainland Belize. It is bordered by the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on the north and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve on the far south-eastern end.

This site has a total area of 135 square miles including the shallow, semi-contained marine bay called the Corozal Bay. A total of nine small islands are found within this site. Also of significance are five shoals associated with these islands. These shoals are important habitat for schooling tarpon, permit and bonefish which are key target species for fly fishermen

According to James Azueta, the declaration of these areas have become necessary to promote preservation, “Mexico Rocks has been identified to be a protected area since Hol Chan was designated a protected area, but since then it doesn’t have the proper protection and/or designation. With the designation of [national reserve] status, these areas will be protected by law and we would have management on the ground. And by that I mean that we have patrols. We will have research and monitoring going on. We are going to actually designate zones [such as] ‘general use’ zones and ‘no take’ zones.”

With no objections from the audience present, the proposed areas will be declared protected areas by the before end of the year. These areas are unique, they are sensitive habitats and in-fact if you look at the Cayo Frances those are wetlands and if we don’t protect at least a portion of those areas they will be gone very soon because there is developments all around. Losing those areas would mean losing the breeding grounds for a lot of commercial species of fish, hence the proposal to officially make them national reserves.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

#446184 - 09/09/12 07:59 AM Re: Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
Gaz Cooper Offline


#446190 - 09/09/12 09:34 AM Re: Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
My skepticism is based solely on having heard that Mexico Rocks is a proposed reserve over and over, year after year for more than 20 years and nothing in reality has happened, just Realtor's hype to stimulate sales in the area and BS from committees full of the same. So please excuse me for laughing at people that say,"Hea , have you heard they are going to make Mexico Rocks a Marine Reserve!".
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#446192 - 09/09/12 09:48 AM Re: Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
KateV Offline
maybe you should have gone to the public consultation, so you would have more information.
Kate Vincent
Sew What !

#446194 - 09/09/12 11:13 AM Re: Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
I'm 100% behind the idea of the Reserve.
In the meeting they said the reserve would be declared by the end of the year. This is September of 2012.
I was 40 years old when I heard about it being made a reserve, I'm 60 now and probably will live another 20 years or so so lets wait and see what happens.
Please contact me with a wigi board to say, 'I Told You So!' if it happens after 2030.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#446263 - 09/10/12 02:15 AM Re: Proposed New Marine Reserve for Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty]
Gaz Cooper Offline
Be getting your Pension soon Elbert smile


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