Stakeholders in the fisheries department meet in Belize City to discuss a strategy plan to help strengthen the maritime economy in Belize. Today a draft of an Oceans Economy and Trade Strategy (OETS) is being presented to the stakeholders. What this plan hopes to achieve is a better standard of living for the people engaged in fishing by promoting competition and sustainability in the fishing market. Love News spoke Kalene Eck, UNCTAD consultant, who told us the impacts the plan will have when implemented in Belize.
Kalene Eck, UNCTAC Consultant: “The Oceans Economy Trade Strategy it’s geared towards fisheries on a whole and Queen Conch and Spiny Lobster are the largest fisheries commodities that are exported from Belize, it accounts to over 70% of what we export in capture fisheries total. It also supports over 2,500 fishers directly and over 15,000 jobs and also the fisheries sector also boosts the tourism sector, we directly support the tourism sector by supplying fin fish and I mean as Belizeans we all know that we eat fried fish and whole fish every other day, it’s a staple of ours. So it’s very important to one, sustainably manage our resources and two, to plan for the future and see how we could better maximize the marine resources that we have today for future generations.”
The meeting is a two day event where after, these stakeholders will give their input and the OETS will be modified accordingly.