[Linked Image]

On Thursday, July 7th, representatives of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Area Representative Honourable Andre Perez held a stakeholder engagement with the presidents of the San Pedro Tour Operators Association, San Pedro Tourist Guide Association, and the Ambergris Caye Fishing Guide Association. The associations had requested the meeting to seek mutual collaboration and more representation within the operations of the marine reserve.

Each association provided suggestions for improving the day-to-day activities within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and strengthening their relationship. Some of the activities and enforcement Hol Chan has been engaging in over the past months include joint patrols along with the Belize Coast Guard, Fisheries Department, and the San Pedro Police Formation. The tasks involve deterring illegal activities in and within the reserve. These joint operations have targeted persons without a fisherfolk license and tour guide licenses. These activities have also been extended to other national parks like the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve off the island's north coast. Hol Chan is committed to continually keeping the associations updated and involved in its activities.

The San Pedro Tour Operators Association requested a seat on Hol Chan's board of directors. Its president Roberto Canul explained that tour operators sell/purchase the entrance fees to the said marine national park and take visitors to the reserve. The associations believe that all parties should work together, listen to each other and work as a unit when making decisions. "This is the first step to start a good relationship between the associations and Hol Chan," said Canul.

Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun