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Research highlights Solutions for Sustainable Fishing

Efforts for sustainable fishing in Belize are ongoing and a newly published research in Belize shows how this can be attained. The “Integrating Science-Based Co-management, Partnerships, Participatory Processes and Stewardship Incentives to Improve the Performance of Small-Scale Fisheries” in the October 2017 issue of Frontiers in Marine Science was co-written by members of the Belize Fisheries Department, Environmental Defense Fund, Toledo Institute for Development and Environment, and Wildlife Conservation Society. It highlights challenges and lessons learned from Belize, where government, fishermen and women, and Non-Government Organizations are developing science-based solutions for sustainable fishing. The study shows Belize is among a handful of countries that are successfully innovating and pioneering solutions to ensure the sustainability of small-scale fisheries. It found that successful science-based management in Belize includes fisher participation and empowerment, partnership across sectors and community buy-in, and sound scientific analysis. It suggests that designing management measures among stakeholders will increase the probability that small-scale fisheries will implement science-based management and improve their performance. For Belize, this means the long-term sustainability of a resource that is vital for Belize’s food security, poverty alleviation, sustainable development, and culture and heritage. The research uses case studies done in Belize, Cuba, Mexico and the Philippines.