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Oct 22, 2021

Declining Fish Stocks and GDP Input

Oceana in Belize released its 2020 report on the state of Belize’s fisheries on Thursday.  It’s a hundred and seventy-two page document that lays out the challenges of the country’s marine sector, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihoods of fisher folk and other industry stakeholders.  With a steady decline in contribution to the gross domestic product, the state of fisheries in Belize is dire, notwithstanding strides in other areas, including a new Fisheries Act, as well as a ban on gillnetting and trawling.  Alyssa Noble-Carnegie is Oceana’s communications director.


Alyssa Noble-Carnegie

Alyssa Noble-Carnegie, Communications Director, Oceana

“The state of Belize Fisheries Report 2020 really looks at the overall performance of, you know, finfish, its management, as well as shellfish and really gives some case studies of different fishers.  We’re really excited to have been able to produce it because it’s been in the works for some time and it does factor into account some of the things from COVID.  But really, what it’s been looking at and we’re happy to provide a kind of executive summary of the findings to you later, but primarily that, you know, finfish production really constituted a greater part of our GDP or gross domestic product up until, I think 2015 or 2016 when it fell from about eighty percent of which it constituted to about twenty percent and it’s been steadily going down.  I really have to look at the numbers to be able to quote you on that specifically, but just in terms of on GDP, there was a peak of high production about 2015 and it fell steeply and ever since, it’s been not been able to rise up again on those higher levels that we once saw.  What the study really looks at is trying look at individual fisheries, lionfish, looks at the impact of some of the decisions that have been taken from the policy perspective, you know, in terms of the gillnet ban, trawling, other measures that have been taken as well.  The new fisheries act, kinda just seeing the impact of it in terms of overall Belize fisheries.”

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