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Belize’s Barrier Reef Remains in Danger of Losing Its Value

Local environmental agencies have been speaking constantly on the dangers being posed to Belize’s Barrier Reef due to various factors.  It is a case that has gotten international attention particularly since UNESCO had named it a World Heritage Site back in 1996.  Thirteen years after receiving the title of a World Heritage Site, the Belize Barrier Reef was placed on a list of sites that were in danger not only of losing its status but also its value.  The danger, according to UNESCO, was due to lack of oversight, unsustainable fishing, deteriorating water quality and development.  Today, the continued dangers to the Belize Barrier Reef are once again getting international attention via CNN.  The international news agency noted the loss of revenues that can be had should the site continue to lose its value.  As is the Great Blue Hole Marine Park charges forty US dollars for entry while scuba diving trips begin at two hundred and forty dollars upward and snorkeling trips are from sixty five US dollars.  With the lack of urgent attention needed to protect and preserve what remains, the Barrier Reef will lose its status as a tourist attraction.  The Belize Barrier Reef can be best described as a patchwork of pinnacle reefs, fringing reefs and barrier reefs with hundreds of cayes just above the surface along with mangrove and sand islands.  This reef system has been the highlight for snorkelers from all around the globe.  As it relates to efforts made toward its protection and preservation, the Government of Belize has, over the years, embarked on training and public awareness for fishermen, in particular, to alleviate the issue of over-fishing.