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Dec 20, 2000

Green Reef will study grouper

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Beginning next month an environmental group based in San Pedro will conduct detailed research on the Nassau Grouper. The study by Green Reef has become necessary due to the steady depletion of this particularly tasty and vulnerable specie throughout the Caribbean. Today, Green Reef received a cheque for over fifty-six thousand dollars from the Global Environmental Facility of the United Nations Development Programme in Belize.

Philip Balderamos, National Coordinator, GEF Programme

“And the reason we were able to provide such a large first disbursement is that next month the survey teams that will be monitoring the groupers spawning aggregation sites will be conducting their surveys at six different areas of the barrier reef and the atolls, while the full moon spawning aggregation of the Nassau Grouper is occurring. With the funding the dive teams will be able to get their equipment and supplies available, in order to go out there and monitor these spawning sites.”

Mito Paz, Executive Director, Green Reef

“The Nassau Grouper is a very important commercial species not just in Belize, but the whole Caribbean. We know the plight of the Nassau Grouper, in the Caribbean the population has decreased and a lot of the Caribbean countries have taken steps to protect their Nassau Groupers, especially in their spawning aggregation sites. Belize needs to also look at managing their Nassau Grouper populations.”

The survey gets underway on the first night of the full moon in January. That’s when all the species of grouper go to specific sites and spawn. Six teams will be involved in the survey, working along the coast of Belize including Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, Turneffe islands, Lighthouse reef, Caye Glory, Gladden Spit and the Sapodilla Cayes. Green Reef will be assisted by a number of agencies including TIDE, Belize Audubon Society and the Fisheries Department.

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