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Proposed Marine Protected Areas

Press Release>

Ambergris Caye Wetlands Committee>

Ambergris Caye Conservation Initiative 2011

Concept paper for:
                        Mexico Rocks Marine Reserve,
                        Bajos Marine Reserve
                        Mata/Cayo Frances National Park

Public Consultation – January 05, 2012 at the Lion’s Den at 6 pm.

The ACCSD along with other organizations including Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Tour Guide Association, BTIA, San Pedro Business Association, Green Reef, and the ACLBA have come together to form the Ambergris Caye Wetlands Committee (ACWC). The ACWC’s goal is to facilitate the process that will result in the creation of a protected areas network in Ambergris Caye that will guarantee sustainable management of our coastal resources for future generation and for the betterment of our island. Through this committee and with your support we will be able to accomplish this and make it a success! 

After much work and consultation with marine experts, business community, relevant authorities we have completed a concept document. This press release marks the start of our public consultation process with all relevant stakeholders. We encourage all to participate in the process and to contribute creative and meaningful ideas to improve this work in progress.

The proposed protected areas are as follows:

·         Mexico Rock’s Marine – total proposed area 8.75sq miles

This new area will be an exclusive recreational area. On the map we can identify the red lining as the NO TAKE ZONE and the blue lining is the General Use Zone.  Access will be given to the traditional users for them to continue their usual activities.  This is to benefit both fishermen and tourist guides.  The size of the of the NO TAKE ZONE is proposed to be 1.5 sq. miles (1 mile running along the reef and 1.5 miles running east to west from the outer fore – reef.).  

·         Bajos Proposed Marine Reserve – total proposed area 135 sq miles.

The Bajos proposed area is designated as a marine reserve with zoning for catch and release fishing The proposed site encompasses a total area of 135 sq. miles of shallow semi contained marine shoals called the Corozal Bay. This area includes nine small islands and five shoals which are vital habitats for the islands fisheries for schooling tarpon, permit and bonefish which are key target species for sport fishermen.  

·         Cayo Frances/Mata Frances Lagoon

This proposed area will be a National Park and will encompass the Cayo Frances and Mata Lagoons. This area has served as the route for the annual Reef /Lagoon Eco-challenge and recreational uses including catch and release sport fishing. This area will provide proper management actions to protect the few remaining mangrove wetlands on the island.

 

This concept paper was presented to the Hon. Min. Manuel Heredia Jr. on December 15th and he is in full support for these projects.  Amendments will be made to this document as we move along this consultative process.  The Hon.Minister is in the process of submitting the copies of the concept paper to the relevant Ministries for consultation.  It has been agreed that a Public consultation will be held on January 05, 2012 at the Lion’s Den at 6pm to present the concept paper to the local community for their input.

 

Attached are the maps of proposed protected areas. A full copy of the concept paper will be available on the ACCSD website – www.accsdbz.com

 

Regards,

 

 

 

ACCSD Executive Committee
Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development
63 Barrier Reef Drive
San Pedro Town
Belize

Tel: 226-2799

Email: accsdbz@gmail.com

Website: www.accsdbz.com
ĉ
ACCSD Belize,
Dec 28, 2011, 4:10 PM
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ACCSD Belize,
Dec 28, 2011, 4:11 PM
Ċ
ACCSD Belize,
Dec 28, 2011, 4:10 PM
Ċ
ACCSD Belize,
Dec 28, 2011, 4:11 PM
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