Applying Adaptive Management Practices to Enhance Compliance with Fishery Management Measures at the TAMR
Applying Adaptive Management Practices to Enhance Compliance with Fishery Management Measures at the TAMR
The Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association’s (TASA) primary goal is to promote the sustainable use and conservation of the marine ecosystems at the Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve (TAMR) through: management of natural resources, education and outreach, and science for adaptive management. The Turneffe Atoll is the most developed of the three atolls within Belize’s territorial waters and broader Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. The atoll is a complex assemblage of different ecosystems, comprising coral reef crest fringes encircling shallow central lagoons, raised cayes and extensive seagrass and mangrove wetlands; mangroves cover some 11,000 hectares. The area is also a major contributor to Belize’s commercial harvest of lobsters, conch and finfish, and is known to be an important source of high-value tourism. In addition, the atoll serves as a major first-line buffer for the mainland, especially the low-lying and largest city, Belize City, during major storms such as hurricanes.
Given its abundant resources, there are continuous and tremendous pressures on the TAMR from both fishing and tourism stakeholders and managing these resources effectively and sustainably continues to pose tremendous challenges for the co-managers of the reserve (Fisheries Department and TASA) given limited financial and other resources. Already challenged to mitigate the ongoing threats, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated TASA’s operations and enhanced the threats to the reserve, in particular Fishing Pressure/Unsustainable Fishing Practices.
TASA has had to be innovative in maintaining its staff and continue its operations albeit not at an optimal level. This intervention will allow for continued and optimal execution of TASA’s operations geared at contributing towards good fishery management through ensuring that appropriate controls are set, monitored, and complied with. As with all of TASA’s initiatives, the goal of the project is to contribute to supporting an effective protected areas system in Belize. This will be done by meeting the project’s purpose which is to enhance compliance with fishery management measures at the TAMR
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Project Snapshot

Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 18,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
A rapid gender analysis shows that majority of Belize’s fishers including those that operate in the TAMR are men. The very small number of female fishers is mainly as a result of fishing being a rugged profession that takes the fishers away from home in some cases for days. This often times conflict with females’ traditional role of taking care of the family at home. Nonetheless, there are no other major barriers for females to become fishers or participate in the project. Likewise, due to the often rough conditions at sea, fishing has not traditionally attracted persons with disabilities. Youth fishers are always included in the same manner as other fishers.
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
Data capture is a key component of this project. Capture fishery related data for conch, lobster and finfish will be documented using available technology including the mapping of lobster campsites, lobster grounds, and catch data. The capturing of data is important for proper management and planning described as “Adaptive Management”. Data captured and analyzed will firstly be shared and disseminated among the direct stakeholders of the TAMR including fishers, staff of the TAMR, and the TAMR BOD. The development for the first time of a comprehensive Fisheries Information Management System (FIMS) that captures all aspects of capture fishery data at the touch of a button is a significant milestone that will enable more efficient sharing of data among staff and stakeholders of TAMR via reports generated are shared. Data will be shared about results of this project using existing media such as TASA’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, particularly information about the initiative’s lessons and best practices. At a national and regional level, TASA will share information according to its commitment as a member of the FIP Network.

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Leonel Requena
(501) 822-2462


UNDP Belize,3rd Floor, Lawrence Nicholas Building Complex ,P.O. Box 53,South Ring Road,
Belmopan, Central America
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