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Jul 13, 2004

Meeting looks at region’s lakes & rivers

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Representatives of the fisheries and aquaculture sectors of Central America are meeting in Belize City this week for the first national forum on continental water bodies. It’s a regional project, the first of its kind, funded by the Republic of China on Taiwan. It seeks to give governments of the seven Central American countries a better understanding of the potential of the resources found in their inland lakes, lagoons and rivers. Country coordinator for Belize, Mauro Gongora, says the first phase of the project will involve visits to most of the country’s fifty-six inland water bodies over the next four months. That will lead to guidelines for the development of policies for the sustainable use of those resources.

Mauro Gongora, Belize Coordinator, PREPAC

?People in Belize, especially those who live along our rivers and around our lagoons, have traditionally fished in these areas. We have very important fresh water species, such as the Crana, such as the Baysnook, the Musmus; it is very important for us to find out what is the status of these fish species in our water bodies.?

?The types of information that will be collected include socio economic information, and that includes information as to the aquatic organisms that are found in our water bodies. It includes information as to the type of water quality found in these water bodies; it includes information as to the type of water quality found in these water bodies. Basically these are the three areas that we will be focusing on in this study.?

?It?s regional project that will be carried out in seven Central American Countries. And the objective of the project is to gather information about our continental water bodies. The information that will be gathered will focus principally on fisheries and aqua culture potential for these water bodies.?

According to Ambassador Charles Tsai, the Taiwanese government is contributing three point two million U.S. dollars for the four-year programme. The funds and the project are being administered by the regional organisation for plant and animal health, OIRSA.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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