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How could climate change affect Turneffe Atoll?

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Climate change is already affecting the world, some areas have seen a greater impact than others. Some examples are stronger storms, rise in sea level due to rising sea temperatures, and melting of glaciers. Love news spoke with Executive Director, Valdemar Andrade of the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association (TASA), who said that they are currently conducting research to determine how climate change is affecting the Turneffe Atoll.

Valdemar Andrade, Executive Director TASA: “We have a UNDP GF Oak Grant under which we are doing several things. One we are looking at lobster trap inventory so we are looking at how many traps each fisher has and where they are deploying them. We are looking at catch data for conch, lobster, and finfish and also we are setting down data loggers to log what are the climatic conditions and how is that affecting or exacerbating the fishing pressure that is already there. Because many times we talk to the fishers about the fact that a big part of it is the fishing and tourism pressures but we are not trying to ascertain how much of it is actually from natural climatic conditions. So looking at water temperature, looking at carbon, looking at nitrates in the water table and so once we gather that data over a period of time along with the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute who is our main science partner then we will be able to do an analysis and say ‘okay this is how climate change is affecting above and beyond the fishing pressures that we already have.”

Belize has partnered with several international organizations in an effort to reduce climate change.

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