Charting New Waters at Glover’s Reef

April 23, 2012

With support from the Summit Foundation, WCS conservationists and their local and international partners have introduced a new system of managed access to the Glover's Reef Marine Reserve’s conch fishery.

The first day of conch season at the Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, which lies 28 miles off the coast of Belize, was different this year. Traditionally, this vast lagoon was open to anyone with a fishing license. But in late 2011, fishery regulators introduced a new system of managed access, in order to maintain the viability of the quickly diminishing local conch, lobster, and fish populations.

It wasn’t that long ago when three fishermen could haul out 400 conch a day from the waters. But today, it’s much harder for these individuals to make a living from their trade. Decades of overfishing have stripped the waters of commercial fish species.

WCS has worked with various local partners and NGOs to introduce the new sustainability measures for fishing at Glover’s. The system is designed to allow traditional fisherman to make a living, while conserving the biodiversity that makes Glover’s such a remarkable place.

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