BELIZE CITY, Wed, Jun 30, 2021 – Yesterday, June 29, the Government of Belize launched a four-day workshop aimed at improving the management of the country’s multispecies finfish fishery. The workshop is co-organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS) and the Directorate General of Foreign Trade and the environment. Defense Fund (FED). The workshop ends on Friday July 2.

The workshop is organized as part of phase II of a project funded by the United Nations Development Account which is coordinated by both UNCTAD and DOALOS, and aims to strengthen the capacity of developing coastal countries like Belize to expand, adopt and implement Strategies; and Blue economy and business strategies. One of the objectives of this effort is the promotion of sustainable trade and services in the ocean sectors.

Actions undertaken during the implementation of phase II of the project will help the country to ensure that its marine ecosystems are resilient and that livelihoods are secured for communities dependent on fishing. To this end, the initiative will involve the development of a multivariate fish value chain. The sustainable use of fishery resources will create opportunities for families to support themselves and engage in trade through access to diverse marine species, instead of relying solely on heavily exploited coastal resources like lobster and conch.

Nicanor Requeña, Project Manager of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), added: “Regarding this training workshop in particular, the main objective is to bring together a multi-stakeholder group which is represented by the fishermen, cooperatives, The Belize Department of Fisheries, local partners such as the co-managers of these protected areas in the country, and are really bringing this discussion in a way that will be able to generate the information needed to finalize the plan. of multi-species finfish management for Belize, which is a priority for the Fisheries Directorate, a priority for the Ministry of Blue Economy and truly a priority for the country. This is one of those fisheries that has not really been addressed. There has been a lot of effort that has gone into lobster, conch, and no fish.

Blue Economy Ministry Policy and Planning Advisor Beverly Wade explained: “We have well established management plans for our commodities such as lobster and conch, and we have now reached the end of the spectrum. stage where we realize that we need an appropriate management plan – a solid and structured management plan, to ensure the long-term sustainable use of the fishery resources in Belize and also to help inform the development of this resource in Belize.

Wade pointed out that fish fishing has actually been an informal sector in the country for some time. It is not currently an export oriented business, but it was in the past. A more structured regime that allows for a more sustainable use of this fishery will play an important role nationally and internationally from an export point of view and will ensure that the fishery is properly managed and contributes to better livelihoods. and to better economic production, Wade mentioned.

Requeña said: “Besides building the capacity of all participants in terms of understanding the fundamental principles of good fisheries management, which takes place in the context of climate change, it is in the context of all these challenges. that not only Belize faces, but the world faces in terms of fisheries management. We would expect participants to also appreciate that they are part of an effort so that they can say that this is not just a departmental or government developed fish management plan. , but that I, a fisherman or a member of the cooperative, or the co-manager, is able to take ownership of this plan because you will understand that the development of the plan is only one step. He stressed that the implementation of the plan is even more important.



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