Jun 6, 2018

Let the Derbys continue

Eat da lion
Eat da lion

As part of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve lionfish awareness program, the Belize Fisheries Department Education and Outreach Officer worked along with Blue Ventures and Projects Abroad Placencia to fund and coordinate a lion fish derby to be held during the reef week celebrations. The reef week is a week of celebrations that show cases the importance of Belize´s reef system.

The lion fish derby seeks, as primary objective, to inform the general public within the Dangriga Town on the lion fish threats, marketability, safe handling and safe consumption. A total 10 participants and 3 vessels participating in the competition, and three were the lucky winners, 1st place for the most lionfish caught, and 2nd place for the largest and 3rd place for the smallest catch.

Blue ventures along with Projects Abroad collected data on the lion fish: size, weight, total length, standard length, stomach content, sex and maturity. BFD also had a booth where they shared information about lionfish ecology, anatomy, safe handling, and threats to the fishing industry.

All the catch will be used in a cook-off competition, results we will share with you on our next report. So stay tuned.

Many thanks.

From the MAR Fund Team.

most catch, 71 lionfishes
most catch, 71 lionfishes
largest catch
largest catch
Projects Abroad and Fisheries Department
Projects Abroad and Fisheries Department
Data collection
Data collection
Mar 9, 2018

More replenishment zones in the Region

Protecting our resources
Protecting our resources

Traveling north from Honduras and nestling in the Caribbean Sea we reach Utila, one of the Bay Islands of Honduras, where fishing communities in their concern about the decline of fisheries, have proposed to protect areas that help the recovery of the marine resource. Los Cayitos community in Utila, have expressed their interest in declaring replenishment zones that will help achieve this goal.

To this end the NGO Bay Islands Conservation Association-UTILA (BICA-Utila) and Centro de Estudios Marinos (CEM) have joined forces with the fishermen to establish replenishment zones for the conservation of the resource and the future of generations to come. Since 2016 the process to establish this zones began and meetings with fishermen from Los Cayitos have been held, to discuss potential zones.

Three zones were identified and CEM developed a biological methodology, which evaluates the state of the marine resource following biophysical criteria and traditional knowledge, in order to support the declaration of the fish replenishment zones. The data obtained in this biological baseline showed that many of the important commercial fish species have low abundance and biomass, due to fishing pressure in the area.

After yet another meeting with fishermen, two zones were approved by the fishermen, White Water and Old Bank. Up to date the Municipal Ordinance for the establishment of fish replenishment zones is currently being drafted. 

All this work has been possible thanks to your support on helping us achieve our goal. 

 

Thank you for being part of our family and putting our marine resources first. 

The MAR Fund Team

Consultation with fishermen
Consultation with fishermen
Mar 9, 2018

Lionfish awareness - teaching and sharing

South Water Caye Marine Reserve
South Water Caye Marine Reserve

Moving through the south side in Belize, we find ourselves in South Water Caye Marine Reserve, located on the shallow reef platform of the Atlantic coast of Mesoamerica and part of the Mesoamerican Reef. It is the second largest marine reserve in Belize, covering 117,875 acres (approximately 47,700 hectares) of mangrove and coastal ecosystems, stablished in 1996 by the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD).

The Belize Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, The Environment and Sustainable Development, is the manager of this great reserve.

As part of the Lionfish Strategy, BFD lunched a lionfish awareness program that entails a lionfish tournament and an awareness campaign. As part of the awareness campaign BFD lobbied with the Dangriga Town Council, to merge their September celebration activities along with the BFD efforts to spread awareness on the lionfish threats, marketability, safe handling and consumption.

Being able to participate in the Dangriga Marketing Day and September Celebrations Kickoff, the BFD Education and Outreach Officer prepared an information booth, in which he shared information about this deadly predator raising awareness of the threats it posed, local marketability, taste and safe consumption, economic benefits of harvesting the lion, handling, harvesting and cleaning techniques, among others.

They were able to reach a total of 42 peoples, who learnt about this species and were able to taste its delicious meat.

All of our work has been possible thanks to your support and trust.

Thank you for being part of our work.

The MAR Fund Team

Awareness booth
Awareness booth
Sharing information
Sharing information
Tasting lionfish :)
Tasting lionfish :)
learning together
learning together
 
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