Hon. Andre Perez, Minister of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, along with Kennedy Carrillo, CEO in the ministry, and Beverly Wade, policy and planning advisor in the ministry, met with Valerie Lanza, director of the High Seas Fisheries Unit, and Robert Robinson, deputy director of the unit, on June 14, 2021.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the High Seas Fisheries Unit as an integral part of Belize's Blue Economy. Discussions included the five-year Multisectoral National Blue Economy Plan that is being developed, which will see the integration of key components of the Blue model for Belize. Other areas of discussion included the exclusive economic zone, deep-sea fishing, and value-added processing of fisheries products to ensure greater financial benefits for fishers and the economy.
Although the High Seas Fisheries Unit falls within the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance, the main objective of the unit falls under the Fisheries Resources Act of the Fisheries Department in the Ministry of Blue Economy. This provides an excellent opportunity for strengthening collaboration efforts.
The primary mission of the Ministry of the Blue Economy is "to increase the gross domestic product through a thriving Blue Economy development pathway that is harmonized, innovative and socially-just, supported by a robust, science-based management region of our aquatic resources and spaces to improve the livelihood of all Belizeans."