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Jun 14, 2022

A Project to Promote Sustainable Growth of the Blue Economy

A project funded by a new scheme within the Inter-American Development Bank’s Japan Special Fund will see support being given to Belize to develop a program to promote sustainable growth of the blue economy. The project will be implemented by the bank over a two-year period. But what does this mean? According to Blue Economy Director Maxine Monsanto, assessments will be carried out to determine the ability to diversify the fishing industry through fishing beyond the reef. As it currently stands, the fisheries industry is primarily represented by the production of lobster, conch, and shrimp in near shore marine waters within the barrier reef. 


Maxine Monsanto

Maxine Monsanto, Director of Blue Economy

“As many will know commercial species in Belize is usually traditional species lobster, conch, we have aquaculture for shrimp and fin fish. However as the bleu economy space covers all the blue space including the coastal zone and the area inside the reef as well as the area outside of the reef. Deep slope fishing, the idea is to take a look at the potential fisheries available beyond the reef, out in the open water in the blue. What the fisheries is doing at this present moment is working with this technical cooperation and other entities to assess the potential of what species are available out there for fishing and to possibly develop a fisheries sector in that space as well as assess the capabilities of our fishers currently and what their needs are if we intend to move that way.”


Duane Moody

“Do we have fishers who fish beyond the reef?”


Maxine Monsanto

“A small number, not a lot. Very limited at this point because as you know going out there requires investment, other types of equipment and that’s the point of this technical cooperation. It will be doing an assessment of what we currently have and what is needed for it. So whether they need larger boats, whether they need training capacity; that sort of thing. They will be collecting that data, putting it together in an assessment and presenting these are your options; this is the path that you should take forward in developing this sector.”

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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