Charting a Path for Sustainable Management of Belize’s Multi-Species Finfish Fishery

Belize aims to improve the management of its multi-species finfish fishery through capacity building for stakeholders and the finalization of a sustainable management plan. In this regard, the Ministry of Blue Economy alongside its partners and the Belize Fisheries Department have gathered for a Finfish Fishery Stakeholders Adaptive Multi-Species Finfish Management Workshop.

The workshop, which runs from June 29 to July 2, 2021, was co-organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS), the Directorate General for Foreign Trade, and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

Finfish fishery management is a priority for the Government of Belize, fisheries managers, scientists and fishers, as the sustainable use of finfish resources will alleviate pressures from heavily exploited nearshore resources such as spiny lobster and queen conch, contribute to the resource and trade diversification for livelihood opportunities, while helping to ensure optimal and sustainable use of fishery resources in the face of climate change.

Ms. Beverly Wade, director of Blue Economy, highlighted, “Participants support in the development and implementation of this strategic priority action for the marine finfish sector will undeniably result in the realization of an important building block in the overarching National Blue Economy Strategy, which is expected to place Belize in a position to benefit from a planned and structured approach to its ocean-based economic sector.”

The workshop is a key activity of Phase II under the United Nations funded project entitled “Supporting Developing Countries in analyzing and implementing evidence-based and policy coherent oceans economy and trade strategies (OETS)”. This project aims to strengthen capacities of selected coastal developing countries, such as Belize, in elaborating, adopting and implementing evidence-based and policy coherent Oceans Economy and Trade Strategies. These strategies will promote sustainable trade of products and services in ocean-based economic sectors within the UNCLOS framework.