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May 24, 2013

Monitoring the barrier reef; training held for environmentalists

And about a hundred yards away as the barge was making its way from the shoreline, a group of over a dozen environmentalists were returning from an intensive training that would help them to monitor the Barrier reef and fragile offshore ecosystems. It was the collaboration of the Fisheries Department, CZMAI, The Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, the Southern Environmental Alliance, Blue Ventures, and the Environmental Resource Institute. According to the Belize Coordinator for Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, the group was participating in a one week training in the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Methodology.


Roberto Pott, Belize Coordinator, Healthy Reefs for Healthy People

Roberto Pott

“The Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Methodology; this is a methodology that we use to assess the health of the reef every two years. Before we start our data collection, every season that we would do data collection, we bring in the data collectors to train and calibrate and ensure that everybody is competent enough to collect that data.”


Jose Sanchez

“Who are the data collectors?”


Roberto Pott

“We had representatives from Tide, including marine biologists and a program with community researchers that they use as need basis to help them with data collection. So we had a variety of people at a variety of levels participating in the training.”


Daniel Santos

Daniel Santos, Southern Environmental Association

“I did Fish agra and that was to better off my monitoring so that I could more give my logistics to better and precise detail. When we give our data, we want to be exact with what we do. So that’s the reason this really benefited me and I think I can more give better information when I give my information. So this training really helped me and I think I can better give off my information at this time now that I have the basic training and skills.”

Marlon Williams, TIDE, Toledo Institute for Development and Environment

Marlon Williams

“I have been working in the field of conservation for approximately ten years now—not science but I used to be a ranger before. Over the years, I have learnt by working closely with marine biologists like Mister Roberto Pott, Doctor Melanie McField; in methods to assess the health of reef and fish. We did this training to ensure that the data we are collecting is the best. We don’t want to be collecting data that we are unsure of because the information that we collect, reports are written based on the health of the reef and we wouldn’t want to be giving out wrong information. And also that data serves for better management.”


Jose Sanchez

“Now that the training is complete, how long does it take for the assessment of the reef before we have another report card?”


Roberto Pott

“The full cycle takes about a year and that’s why we do it every two years because we will now be monitoring close to about three months give or take a couple of weeks for weather and that sort of thing. And we have close to permanent sites, sixty in Belize that we do ourselves. And it is over a hundred sites, a hundred and forty sites that we monitor which includes sites that are monitored by different organizations in Belize.”

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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2 Responses for “Monitoring the barrier reef; training held for environmentalists”

  1. Eric says:

    Audrey and Melanie-I pissed in the ocean at least 100 times in my life-is that agaisnt the law? did I kill the reef? will you sue me and someday stop us all from swimming? You remind me of the gays that start slowly by legalizing …..manism but who really want marriage, adoption etc-slowly, it will eb agaisnt the law for humans to do anything they need to live.

  2. Bear says:

    I’m happy to see more training and professional attention to protecting and preserving our reef and other marine resources. It’s really a permanent battle to preserve those vital national resources.

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