A special award ceremony was held this morning at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City during which the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) acknowledged the participation of Belize in the responsible development of Fisheries and Aquaculture. The Margarita Lizarraga Medal is awarded biennially by the Conference upon the proposal of the Council to a person or organization that has served with distinction in the application of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
John Jorgenson, FAO representative was on hand to deliver the medal award.
“The medal is the Margarita Lizarraga Medal which is named after a former officer who worked in the FAO for many years. The medal voted for an organization or individual which says works in distinction in the promotion of responsible fisheries especially in the support of small scale fisheries in developing countries. I can inform you about that OSPESCA has been working tirelessly in this Central American region promoting responsible fisheries in various ways in all the member countries and that is why OSPESCA has been singled out. They have been organizing a lot of wor shops in full capacity building in different aspects of fisheries and aquaculture and I am working with a number of different organizations around the world including the FAO.”
Minister of Fisheries, Hon. Lisel Alamilla told us about Belize’s continued developments in the area of Fisheries and Aquaculture.
“I listed a list of the code of conduct and ethics in fisheries in regards to the spine lobster. For example in many instances Belize has been far ahead of our sister countries; for example we have not allowed diving with tanks for lobster for a long time but the other countries are now coming on board. There are a number of regulations that we have signed on and in many instances Belize has been a leader in this and we in fact being a part of OSPESCA have demonstrated to the benefits of the management approach that we have taken because our fisheries does have its challenges but we are very much ahead in regards to being a leader in marine conservation.”
The Medal pays tribute to the late Dr. Margarita Saucedo Lizárraga, Senior Fishery Liaison Officer for her decisive role in promoting the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, for her productive work in the field of fisheries for almost forty years, for her great dedication to FAO and for her strong commitment towards fostering the promotion of the fisheries sector, especially in developing countries.