Government of Belize to  Invest in Coast Guard and Fisheries Department to Combat Illegal Fishing and Protect Marine Resources

Government of Belize to Invest in Coast Guard and Fisheries Department to Combat Illegal Fishing and Protect Marine Resources

The Government of Belize is investing heavily in the Belize Coast Guard and the Belize Fisheries Department. The move is geared toward protecting the country’s fish stock and tackling illegal fishing. Recent data shows that the country’s fishing practices are less than optimal and may lead to a significant decrease in its marine resources. Today, Prime Minister John Briceo noted that it is a serious concern that his administration is confronting head-on. 

Beverly Wade, Director of the Blue Bond and Project Finance for Permanence Unit: “A lot of work I know has been done last year, especially with community-based organisations, to help them to now put together more strengthened proposals, and secondly, to see how we can help them in terms of having the capacity to implement. A lot of community-based organisations don’t necessarily have the capacity to do the financials and to actually implement programs and so we’ve been looking at what are some of the arrangements and support that we can give to those organisations. So I wouldn’t call it a rejection rate because proposals that were rejected are actually in the process of being improved and the new grant cycle, I know for a fact, is bringing to the forefront for funding some of those proposals that in the first round did not meet the criteria but have now been strengthened. So there are a couple of fishermen organisations that are going to benefit and a number of community organisations that are going to benefit. Two examples that pops out of my head is the Shark Fishers Association, the Barranco Village Council so there are a number of good community-based projects that are happening. It takes some time for us to know, have an understanding of where the gaps are and how can we ensure that this money is also reaching the people who are on the ground. So we’re looking forward to that really happening. So yes, it’s not a rejection rate but it’s an opportunity for us to look at how do we strengthen those projects to address the things that are being brought to the fund from the communities.”

Beverly Wade, Director of the Blue Bond and Project Finance for Permanence Unit, expounded on the work that is being done to bolster the protection of Belize’s marine resources. 

The drones are expected to arrive later this year.

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