Sarteneja, a small fishing community located in Corozal District, is one of the primary stakeholders of the Belize Barrier Reef System. The Sarteneja fishermen have traditionally based their lives around the harvesting of marine products, particularly lobster and conch across the coast from north to south, and out to the Atolls. Consultations with the fishermen and other community members have demonstrated a clear recognition of the declining state of the marine resources, and of the critical need to reduce fishing pressure if fishing as a commercial livelihood is to continue long term. Unsustainable fishing pressure has been identified as one of the key human impacts on Belizes reef, and the need to improve management of the fisheries resources has been prioritized through the national roll out of the rights-based Managed Access program.
The Sarteneja Fishermen Association (SFA) is a community-based organization with a membership of 140 fishermen, including 9 women. SFA fully supports the national roll out of the Managed Access program, as it provides a mechanism for ensuring more sustainable fishing, and improved regulation of the numbers of fishermen. This project is designed to better prepare the fishermen for smooth integration into the Managed Access program, building their understanding of the need for a more sustainable fishery, their capacity to support seascape scale management, and knowledge of the best practices that will achieve this to ensure that both todays and tomorrows fishermen can continue to benefit from Belizes marine resources.
It seeks to engage women and youths, building their understanding for support for SFA and Managed Access, to better engage and integrate fishermens wives and youths into SFA activities, and providing them with options for income diversification,including theimplementation ofidentified training needs required to assist Sarteneja to move towards tourism as a means of income divsersification.
By the end of this project:
 20 key fishers will have an increased understanding of and support for sustainable use of fisheries resources, managed access, and capacity for effective participation through use of best practices
 10 Sarteneja fishers and 10 PG fishers will have benefitted from the exchange of ideas on best practices for Managed Access and sustainable fishing
 Communication and collaboration will have been strengthened between 30 northern fishers from 3 communities (Sarteneja, Chunox, and Copper Bank)
 20 youths will have an increased understanding of the need for best practices for the sustainable use of marine resources
 20 Sartenejaos (both men and women) will be trained and certified as tour guides, opening options for alternative employment in the tourism industry.
 13 youths will have receive scholarships to assist them in continuing education, providing opportunities and skills beyond fishing
 14 fishers wives will have an improved understanding of SFA, are better integrated into SFA, and are contributing towards diversification of household incomes
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
- Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
- Access to coastal fishing grounds
- Community empowerment for fisheries management