Terug naar het overzicht

Belize to nearly triple area under strict marine protected areas

08 / 04 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

The government of Belize has approved a plan to nearly triple the area under its strictly protected waters, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced in a press release. According to the plan, the small Central American nation will expand its fisheries replenishment or no-take zones — areas where most fishing is prohibited to allow fish stocks to increase — across most of its marine protected areas. While the percentage increase will vary across the protected areas, the overall expansion will increase the areas under no-take zones from 4.5 percent to 11.6 percent, Ralna Lewis, assistant director of the WCS’s Belize program, told Mongabay in an email. “The rationale for this expansion was to provide sufficient protection to marine species, habitats, and ecosystem processes so as to conserve marine biodiversity, sustain fisheries, and increase resilience to climate change,” Lewis said. Nurse sharks swimming at Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Belize. Image by avas via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0). Much of the expansion will cover deep-sea areas at depths ranging from 200 to 3,000 meters (660 to 9,850 feet), WCS said. These areas are currently underrepresented in Belize’s system of marine protected areas. These deep-sea areas also have relatively low fishing pressure at present, but that could increase in the near future, Lewis said. “Their distance from shore coupled with the level of investment required to purchase the equipment and vessel type needed to fish in these areas has resulted in less use by local commercial fishers,” she said. “However, recent investments in economic alternatives…

Naar artikel