The Fisheries Department has to patrol the waters from Bacalar Chico on Northern Ambergris Caye at the border with Mexico right down to the Sapodilla Caye Range. It's a vast area where all kinds of red lights are being run day and night.

And that's why the donation of a radio communication system by the OAK Foundation should prove beneficial.

Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla accepted:

Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Fisheries
"It will greatly enhance our work in enforcement. As I mentioned earlier we have a huge area - marine area, that we need to patrol and to effectively manage. So, this equipment is very valuable for the Ministry in achieving its mission of ensuring wise use of our natural resources. We manage, as you know, from Baccalar Chico as far up North to the Southern point, the Sapadilla Cayes, and so this will be used across to the different protected areas, and the different world heritage sites that income passes our marine protected areas system."

Angeline Valentine - Mesoamerican Program Associate, Oak Foundation "Communications are very important to enforcement; I mean rapid communication in many instances is a must if you want to effectively enforce. Also, as the minister rightly mentioned, when you look at the scope of the area that these protected area managers have to work within, safety also becomes an issue. So also in addition to the component of enforcement, it also works to safety measures as well."

Hon. Lisel Alamilla
"Indeed it's a huge area; but any little bit helps. So I wouldn't say it's an impossibility. It really is a matter that we identified as a priority, and so we are today getting help and aid, in developing an enforcement plan for the entire country of Belize."

The donation is part of the implementation of the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan.

Channel 7