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Belize Model For Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries Management
by Belize Fisheries Department (Government)
Belize's Voluntary Commitments grouped under three main themes

1. Promote and improve the legal framework for the management of fisheries / marine resources in Belize in consultation with stakeholders. a) Endorsement and implementation of new Fisheries Bill
b) Development and implementation of national fisheries policy
c) Update the Coastal Zone Management Amendment Act and Regulations
d) Implement an Integrated Coastal Zone Management Plan (ICZM)
e) Development and implementation of a national / sub regional strategy to effectively combat IUU fishing

2. Promote measures to improve management and resiliency of fisheries / marine resources.
a) Develop and implement adaptive management plans for Queen conch, Caribbean spiny lobster & finfish
b) Expansion of replenishment zone from 3% to 10% of national waters
c) Adopt and implement FAO Voluntary Guidelines for sustainable small-scale fisheries
d) Set catch limits for Caribbean spiny lobster
e) Develop a climate resilience strategy for coastal zone

3. Increase economic benefits to fishers through the sustainable management of fisheries resources in Belize
a) Support the adoption of a fisheries sustainability certification program (e.g. Fish Right, Eat Right)
b) Develop new fisheries products/value added products
c) Support access to new and higher value markets
d) Develop policy for sustainable seaweed aquaculture
e) Develop and implement best practices for sustainable seaweed farming
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
December 2018
New Fisheries Bill
December 2018
National Fisheries Policy
December 2018
FAO Voluntary Guidelines for sustainable small-scale fisheries implemented
December 2020
Replenishment Zones to comprise 10% of national waters
Financing (in USD)
20,000 USD
Financing (in USD)
30,000 USD
In-kind contribution
Draft Fisheries Bill is ready
In-kind contribution
National Consultations for Replenishment Zone expansion has been completed
Basic information
Time-frame: June 2017 - December 2020
Belize Fisheries Department (Government), United Nations Development Programme (United Nations entity), Environmental Defense Fund (Non-governmental organization), Wildlife Conservation Society (Non-governmental organization), The Nature Conservancy (Non-governmental organization) and Belize fishers (Private sector)
Ocean Basins
  • Global
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Mauro Gongora, Fisheries Officer, mauro.gongora@fisheries.gov.bz, +501 2244552
Belize City, Belize
Other SDGs
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