Find Fisheries expertise in Belize
- Overview of the industry
- Fishery bodies
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.
Important organisations include the Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association Ltd. which is a federal society designed to provide educational, legal and technical services to its members, as well as a number of smaller cooperatives including the Caribeña Producers Cooperative Society Ltd., the National Fishermen Producers Cooperative Society Ltd., and the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Ltd.
The Belize Fisheries Department is under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and was mandated to sustainably manage and develop the fishing sector, through the Fisheries Act of 1948. The goal of the department is to provide the country and the people of Belize with the best possible management of aquatic and fisheries resources with a view to optimize the present and future benefits through efficient and sustainable management.
|Fisheries organisations in Belize|
|Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries||