Diver-Harvest

Overview

The small-scale and artisanal lobster fisheries of Belize began in the mid-to-late 1950s, with species harvested mainly for export to the United States. Today, the fisheries sector contributes significantly to the economy of Belize, ranking 5th in export earnings in 2015. Spiny lobster and queen conch are the most productive capture fisheries, with more than 90 percent of catch exported to the U.S. The Belize spiny lobster stock is part of a larger target stock that ranges from North Carolina to Brazil including Bermuda, the Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and Caribbean. 

Fishermen harvest lobster and conch from the shallow waters of the barrier reef and offshore atolls using two types of vessels: small wooden sailboats and fiberglass skiffs. Sailboat fishers often fish for six to ten days and carry approximately eight dugout canoes and up to ten fishers, who free-dive and collect conch and lobster by hand using a hook stick. Fishers using skiffs are at sea for varying periods of time, usually two to three days and at times up to a week. Skiff fishers generally use traps or shades (casitas) to attract lobster and harvest using either hand, hook stick, noose/lasso or jamo net. The fleet pursuing the stock that will be part of the FIP is defined as fishers legally licensed by the Belize Fisheries Department and are members of the National Fishermen Cooperative or Northen Fishing Cooperative in Belize. 

 National Fishermen Cooperative and Northern Cooperative are the two largest fishing cooperatives in Belize, representing approximately 80 percent of Belize’s 2700+ commercial fishers combined.  These Co-ops and two private companies are currently the only entities allowed to export lobster, with an average of 500,000 lbs of lobster tails are exported annually. According to Belizean law, the fishing cooperatives are required to sell 5% of their lobster to local markets. The rest is exported, mainly to the U.S. 

The small-scale and artisanal lobster fisheries of Belize began in the mid-to-late 1950s, with species harvested mainly for export to the United States. Today, the fisheries sector contributes significantly to the economy of Belize, ranking 5th in export earnings in 2015. Spiny lobster and queen conch are the most productive capture fisheries, with more than 90 percent of catch exported to the U.S. The Belize spiny lobster stock is part of a larger target stock that ranges from North Carolina to Brazil including Bermuda, the Gulf of Mexico, West Indies and Caribbean. 

FIP at a Glance

14% 36% 50%
November 01, 2019
14% 36% 50%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including FisheryProgress.org, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
Not yet available
Actions Complete
  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Jul 2020
Target End Date
Nov 2024

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Future of Fish
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
Marah Hardt
Phone 
+12032935590
Organization Name 
The Nature Conservancy Belize
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
Julie Robinson
Phone 
+5016104903
Organization Name 
National Fishermen's Producers Cooperative Society Ltd.
Organization Type 
Industry
Primary Contact 
Elmer Rodriguez
Enter the public contact information for up to two leaders of the FIP. This information will be displayed on FisheryProgress.org for users who want to contact the FIP.

Overview

The penshell fishery in Sonora began to develop in the 1950s. The interest in this marine resource has been increasing during the last few decades because penshells are considered a seafood delicacy.

Excessive fishing since the 1970s has led to a drastic reduction in catch volumes. The local extinction of specific banks has hampered the natural recovery species. Overexploitation of penshells has occurred mainly due to poor regulation, open access and over-capitalization of fishing effort. To ensure sustainable management of this resource, producers need to look for alternatives to reverse the crisis that is happening in the fishery. Since 2014, the cooperative Ecopescadores in Bahía de Kino has implemented a “Integral Management Zone” project for the penshell (Atrina tuberculosa). This project includes the exclusive right of access through an aquaculture development grant, encompassing an area of 25.91 ha in Kino Bay, Sonora. In addition, the producers defined three fishing management tools that are used within the concession area. The tools are: 1) refuge areas (non-fishing areas) accounting for 30.5% of total area, 2) fishing zone (management by quotas-MCC) with 32%, and 3) the area of restoration (marine culture) with 37.5%, where larvae will be captured and penshell growth will occur through cultures on the seabed.

The producers have had an aquaculture permit since 2013, and they wish to implement a Fishery Improvement Project that reinforces this management zone, brings access to better markets, and improves both fishermen’s lifestyle and scallop stock.

This FIP is going to comprehensive (2020-2024).

The penshell fishery in Sonora began to develop in the 1950s. The interest in this marine resource has been increasing during the last few decades because penshells are considered a seafood delicacy.

FIP at a Glance

4% 29% 68%
April 01, 2020
25% 43% 32%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including FisheryProgress.org, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
Not yet available
Actions Complete
  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Dec 2020
Target End Date
Dec 2024

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C.
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
Ernesto Gastélum
Enter the public contact information for up to two leaders of the FIP. This information will be displayed on FisheryProgress.org for users who want to contact the FIP.

Overview

The clam fishery (red, white and chocolate) in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, is quite new, and given that, none of its banks have been overexploited. This was one of the main reasons to start working with this fishery - bringing in good practices at the beginning stages which can lead to long-term sustainability.

During the development of this project, clams were identified as an alternative to reduce fishing pressure to resources that have been used for years in the region. After four years of design and management for the use of these resources, the first permits of red clam (Megapitaria aurantiaca) and chocolate clam (Megapitaria squalida) were obtained in the state of Sonora.

These permits include different fishing management tools (closures, sizes, quotas and refuge areas), as well as the commitment to work together for population monitoring, life cycle studies and sustainable harvesting of clams, achieving a more economically and socially robust management. This led to the idea of implementing a fishing improvement project that could bring the fishery access to better markets, where producers could receive more benefits and the give the marine ecosystem's condition a chance to improve.

This FIP is going to comprehensive (2020-2022).

The clam fishery (red, white and chocolate) in Puerto Libertad, Sonora, is quite new, and given that, none of its banks have been overexploited. This was one of the main reasons to start working with this fishery - bringing in good practices at the beginning stages which can lead to long-term sustainability.

FIP at a Glance

32% 68%
November 01, 2017
18% 36% 46%
Progress Rating

A - Advanced Progress
Reserved for comprehensive FIPs that have a Stage 4 or 5 result within the past 12 months.

B - Good Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 in more than 12 months AND Stage 3 activity in the last year; OR a basic FIP that has achieved Stage 4 or 5 achievements within the past 12 months.

C - Some Recent Progress
A FIP that has achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 12 (but less than 24) months but has not generated a Stage 3 result within the past 12 months OR a FIP younger than a year that has never achieved a Stage 4 or 5 result but has completed a Stage 3 activity.

D - Some Past Progress
A FIP for which the most recent publicly reported Stage 4 or 5 result is more than 24 (but less than 30) months.

E - Negligible Progress
A FIP older than a year that has not reported a Stage 4 or 5 result in more than 30 month (but less than 36) months; OR a FIP younger than 1 year that has not reported a Stage 3 activity.

The ratings are currently derived by SFP from publicly available data on FIP websites, including FisheryProgress.org, and are determined using the following methodology: View PDF
B Good Progress
Actions Complete
  • Complete
  • Incomplete
Next Update Due FisheryProgress requires a FIP to provide update reports every six months, and two missed reports will render the FIP inactive. If a report is overdue, this date will appear red.
Nov 2020
Target End Date
Nov 2022
Some FIPs include objectives that go beyond the 28 indicators. Clicking on the links below will provide additional detail on other impacts the FIP is working to achieve.

FIP Leads

Organization Name 
Comunidad y Biodiversidad, A.C.
Organization Type 
NGO
Primary Contact 
Ernesto Gastelum
Phone 
+52 622 222 49 90
Enter the public contact information for up to two leaders of the FIP. This information will be displayed on FisheryProgress.org for users who want to contact the FIP.
Subscribe to Diver-Harvest