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Jan 11, 2018

After Success Down South, Managed Access to Fisheries Coming Countrywide

Over the past few years, we have reported on the managed access program in Belize being implemented by the Fisheries Department, Environmental Defense Fund and other local conservation partners. It started out as a pilot program at the Port Honduras Marine Reserve and Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve – a program used to reduce fishing pressure and the incentive to fish illegally by providing traditional fishers with secured fishing grounds. The rights based management program gives traditional fishers access to fishing grounds – and supporters of the program say it is working which pushed them to roll out at the national level. The program, according to the Environmental Defense Fund, is set to be replicated in other parts of the region due to its success locally.


Nicanor Requeña

Nicanor Requeña, Project Manager, Environmental Defense Fund

“At the pilot site, both at Glover’s Reef and Port Honduras Marine Reserve, one of the key things we started seeing was the reduction in illegal activity. In the case of PHMR and Glover’s, more fishermen were reporting whatever illegal activities were happening in the area. So, better communication and collaboration have been happening between the fishermen, the fisheries department and the co-managers in the case of PHMR, TIDE. Managed Access now is seen as one of the successful case studies in the region and something now being contemplated to be replicated in countries like Honduras and in some places in Mexico. So, it is one of those success stories we can speak about here in Belize.”

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