Find Fisheries expertise in Belize

Fisheries, along with agriculture and forestry, contribute 12% to the GDP of Belize (2008). Belize has a coastline that stretches over 450km, and with a shelf area of about 9800km2, Belize has extensive fishing grounds relative to its small size. The industry is estimated to employ about 1,600 people in the primary sector and over 100 in the secondary, the vast majority of whom are engaged in the commercial artisanal industry. The artisanal industry is considered to be highly lucrative thanks to high prices on foreign markets which are maintained through co-operatives of which nearly all fishermen are a member, and which are entirely owned by local investors.

The catch profile is dominated by the Spiny Lobster and the Queen Conch due to their economic value, as well as snappers and groupers. The vast majority of these fish are caught on the barrier reef. Offshore capture on the other hand is dominated by the shrimp trawling industry although it is relatively small.

The inland freshwater subsector – which is largely practiced at a subsistence level – is the least documented in Belize, but the catch profile is believed to be the baysnook, the Crana, and the Tilapia, all captured in rivers and lagoons.

The aquaculture industry however, is a multi-million dollar industry primarily based on the production of Pacific White Shrimp.

Fisheries organisations in Belize
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries