belize tagged posts

Belize adds another jewel in its crown

The Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve covers an area of approximately 125 square kilometers

Belize has announced another major milestone in its efforts to protect its marine resources and ocean ecosystems. Signed by Belize’s minister of fisheries, forestry, environment and sustainable development, Omar Figueroa, a new statutory instrument authorizes the expansion of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve and protects an important reef ecosystem known as the Corona Reef or Cayman Crown, one of the best preserved reefs in the region.

The newly expanded Sapodilla Cayes reserve now totals an area covering more than 500 square miles, with a strictly protected area in Belize’s deep-sea totaling more than 350 square miles. Found south of the Sapodilla Cayes, the Corona Reef complex is considered one of the most underrepresented habitats in Belize’s marine protected areas system...

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Why tiny Belize is a world leader in protecting the ocean

Across the turquoise water by the mangrove, forest ranger Allan Halliday spots a fishing skiff. “We’re going over to say hello,” he says, before abruptly changing the boat’s direction. But his real task is to check the couple on board have the licence to fish in this part of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, one of nine designated zones in Belize.

“We aren’t complaining but others do,” says Alonzo Reymundo, of the rules that now restrict Belize’s 3,000 commercial fishers to two geographic areas each. He and his wife Anselma have been fishing off southern Toledo for 30 years and their boat is laden with 50 or so pounds of shrimp – more than enough, he says, flashing his licence. Today’s catch will be sold as bait and fetch around 330BZ$ (£135), he says.

But not a...

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How One Country Is Restoring Its Damaged Ocean

A black grouper patrols a coral garden in Belize

The Astrum helicopter company launches from a base less than five miles from where Belize City meets the Caribbean. In the backseat, to my left, is Belizean Senator Valerie Woods. Across from us are two representatives from international ocean protection organization Oceana, which organized the flight. The country’s minister of state, Carla Barnett, climbs into the front seat.

“I haven’t been in a helicopter for a long time,” she mutters, pulling on her headset. The doors shut, and we’re off.

As we rise above the trees, Belize City starts to spread out in front of us. But that’s not our destination. Side-skirting downtown, we head out over the water—where the true treasures lay.

The Mesoamerican Reef stretches some 700 miles from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula through Guate...

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