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Marty Offline OP
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Our communities rely on fishing as a commercial and cultural practice, but that resource is under threat.

Today Oceana published its report on the state of Belize Fisheries for 2020. Most notable is the number of marine life that is currently at risk. According to the report, the goliath grouper has all but disappeared, and spawning aggregations are, quote, "shadows of their former selves."

And on top of that, increasing fishing pressure, both legal and illegal, is beginning to affect other species. The report says, quote, "Some of the larger, mobile shark species in Belize, such as the lemon, blacktip and scalloped and great hammerheads are likely at risk from overfishing. The sea cucumber fishery, which boomed and busted within a few short years, tells a cautionary tale. Even the conch and lobster fisheries are showing warning signs." End quote.

Oceana also notes that there is a need for sound and timely fisheries-related data. And they also mentioned that regular enforcement and consistent monitoring of species composition and size has made it difficult to ascertain the state of Belize's fisheries with a high level of detail and accuracy.

Still, they have prioritized the next steps, and that include improved monitoring, enforcement, and transparency to strengthen fisheries management. There also needs to be enhanced protection of endangered species such as Nassau and Goliath Grouper.

Channel 7

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In Belize, the fishing industry brings in approximately 28 million BZD per year but not all of its benefits have been quantified; fishing also plays an important role in supporting local livelihoods and nutrition.

Oceana's latest report, State of Belize Fisheries 2020, provides an overview of fisheries in Belize within the overall context of the economic, political and environmental state of the country.

For the whole report, CLICK HERE for the 34mb PDF.


Responsible Fishing PSA from OCEANAbz on Vimeo.



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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,395
Marty Offline OP
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Declining Fish Stocks and GDP Input

Oceana in Belize released its 2020 report on the state of Belize's fisheries on Thursday. It's a hundred and seventy-two page document that lays out the challenges of the country's marine sector, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of fisher folk and other industry stakeholders. With a steady decline in contribution to the gross domestic product, the state of fisheries in Belize is dire, notwithstanding strides in other areas, including a new Fisheries Act, as well as a ban on gillnetting and trawling. Alyssa Noble-Carnegie is Oceana's communications director.

Alyssa Noble-Carnegie, Communications Director, Oceana


"The state of Belize Fisheries Report 2020 really looks at the overall performance of, you know, finfish, its management, as well as shellfish and really gives some case studies of different fishers. We're really excited to have been able to produce it because it's been in the works for some time and it does factor into account some of the things from COVID. But really, what it's been looking at and we're happy to provide a kind of executive summary of the findings to you later, but primarily that, you know, finfish production really constituted a greater part of our GDP or gross domestic product up until, I think 2015 or 2016 when it fell from about eighty percent of which it constituted to about twenty percent and it's been steadily going down. I really have to look at the numbers to be able to quote you on that specifically, but just in terms of on GDP, there was a peak of high production about 2015 and it fell steeply and ever since, it's been not been able to rise up again on those higher levels that we once saw. What the study really looks at is trying look at individual fisheries, lionfish, looks at the impact of some of the decisions that have been taken from the policy perspective, you know, in terms of the gillnet ban, trawling, other measures that have been taken as well. The new fisheries act, kinda just seeing the impact of it in terms of overall Belize fisheries."

Fisheries Report, A One-stop Shop for Information on Marine Sector

According to Noble-Carnegie, the purpose of the report is to consolidate information on the fisheries sector, making it easier to access data for research.

Alyssa Noble-Carnegie, Communications Director, Oceana


"Any information that's provided on any of these fisheries we feel is absolutely helpful because as much as we can make decisions and our management based on numbers and evidence, the better we can make sure that they are impactful, not just for the sake of fish but for the sake of people who depend on fish and, you know, the communities. And with sixty percent of Belize's population living along the coast, it's a very big amount of our population that's dependent on these resources. And so that's exactly what we're trying to do, we're trying to bring as much information to the public where it's not like, if I want information on fisheries I have to write someone, get permission to gain access to that or being able to see it. What we're hoping to do is to be able to say that if that doesn't really exist, if that's not being forthcoming or not completely public, trying to make that information more accessible to the Belizean public so they have that information because we do also get lots of requests from students and people asking for different sorts of information and they all have to be directed to different entities to try to get a good insight and we're really just trying to hope to seek to consolidate some of that."

Channel 5


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