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Jan 26, 2022

Islanders and Sea Salt Production/Seaweed Farming

In early December, we reported on an effort to encourage women and youth in entrepreneurship through a project called Enhancing the Economic Empowerment of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean in the COVID-19 Post-Pandemic Era. With support funding from the Government of Taiwan, seven recipients were handed twenty-five thousand U.S. dollars to advance these opportunities. Today, in Caye Caulker, one of the groups from the first cohort completed its sea grass and sea salt production project. News Five’s Duane Moody files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

For some months now, twenty-five residents from Caye Caulker, primarily women, were engaged in a project carried out by the Caye Caulker Branch of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. They were trained and developed skills of sea salt sequestration and seaweed process. Project Coordinator Celina Jimenez says that the project, which was approved by the Ministry of Blue Economy, concluded successfully this morning.


Celina Jimenez, Vice-Chair, B.T.I.A. Caye Caulker

Celina Jimenez

“They took introduction to the blue economy; they also took the creation of salt, smart farming, pricing of products, packaging, labelling of products as well the seaweed farming and we are grateful that we have the Placencia team here as well and they helped us with the training.”


There were persons from different walks of life that participated in the project, including fisherwoman of the year 2021, Maria Allen. For decades, fishing has provided income and sustenance to Allen and her family, who annually harvest lobsters and crabs. For Allen, a woman doing a man’s job is no longer taboo and now she’s incorporating seaweed farming into the business.


Maria Allen

Maria Allen, Fisherwoman

“As a fisherwoman, I do the stone crab and the lobster. So as a third income which is the seaweed it will all venture into one. When we do the seaweed, it keeps the small fishes, the juvenile lobster and different types of stuff that would live inside the seaweed, so it will also give it the sustainability for the other industries to come along.”


Maria Young and her sister Veronica took a different approach. The natural resource, sea water is boiled by the gallon to create sea salt. The Young sisters have taken that by-product to create condiments and treats for their tables – and possibly yours too. There was even a seaweed chai/tea.


Maria Young, Co-Owner, Enchanted Garden

Maria Young

“Right outside here we make our own sea. We get the water, we boil it, it’s a process and I also experimented and did a few different things. We have chutney, we have conch soup, but it is also with seaweed. We have seaweed chutney, grucera chutney, conch soup with seaweed. We have our sea salt that also has seaweed in it. We have fry breadfruit, but it was soaked in the seaweed and sea salt brine. Our rice is made with seaweed and sea salt. We also did a seaweed salt and we have a seaweed sea salt and it has garlic flavoured. The world and the sky is the limit. Whatever you can think, you can possible made and it is all edible – all seaweed and sea salt. Seaweed has a lot of nutritional value so it brings another super food to our plate.”


It’s a historical moment and a successful blue economy project.


Andre Perez

Andre Perez, Ministry of Blue Economy

“An important indication of our ministry’s commitment to inclusion, innovation and empowerment of women. But also I must add that, of course, men are included as well. So I take this opportunity to thank our ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for providing the necessary support for making this initiative a reality. Thanks to this support and collaboration, the men and women of Caye Caulker are in a better position to take advantage of the opportunities provided by our blue space in Belize.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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