|Nidia Chacon for the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve.|
|New to this year’s presentations was the explanation of the regulations designated to Hol Chan’s new zone – Cayo Cangrejo. |
For close to a month, from September 28th – October 22nd, Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted their Responsible Tour Guide Seminars for the year 2009. Over ten dive shops from Ambergris Caye and nine in Caye Caulker took advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about the country’s most popular marine reserve.
This year, under the guidance of the Department of Fisheries, Hol Chan teamed up with Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park to give their annual presentations.
Prior to the seminars, dive shops across the two islands received letters of invitation to take part in the seminar. The presentations were conducted on a one-on-one basis between presenters Mariela Archer of the Hol Chan office, Nidia Chacon for the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve and Roberto Carballo for the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and the various dive shops.
Topics of the presentations included the general use of designated zones within the various reserves, new rules and regulations and new boundaries. New to this year’s presentations was the explanation of the regulations designated to Hol Chan’s new zone – Cayo Cangrejo. According to Archer these presentations are vital for the preservation of the various marine reserves. “The regulations need to be explained to tour guides in order for them to understand what is allowed and what is not. Educating the reserve users is important. Tour guides can offer a better briefing before tours when they are more informed. Once guests are better informed of the regulations, they take the necessary precautions not to damage the environment,” commented Archer.
The Seminar also included discussion topics on Coral reef monitoring results, Coral Bleaching, Coral Spawning at Caye Caulker, The new Kids Environmental Education project, Sea turtle monitoring and location of new residential developments proximity to the reserves.
Further information about the Northern Marine Reserves management can be found in the Reef Currents newsletter from Hol Chan (kindly visit their office or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy).