Building effective management for the Turneffe Atoll commercial fishery will likely require a number of interventions over the coming years.
Baseline Stock Assessments
Comprehensive baseline stock assessments of the major commercial products are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of fisheries management interventions. Fishermen are often asked to sacrifice fishing area for long term benefit to the fishery. They cannot be expected to make these commitments without the ability to document that it is useful.
Initially, management of the fishery will focus on developing a comprehensive enforcement program (see Enforcement). One Ranger Station is now operating in a temporary location at Turneffe Flats Resort and plans are to build three separate Ranger Stations for TAMR. In addition to the enforcement of fishing regulations, Turneffe Rangers will concentrate on educating fishermen about the potential advantages of the Reserve, Reserve Zoning, Rules and Regulations and other relevant matters.
Data Collection & Integration
In conjunction with enforcement activities at TAMR, detailed records are being kept for all enforcement interventions including warnings and summons. The SMART technology is being utilized and this information will become part of a nation-wide fisheries data base.
The Belize Fisheries Department, in conjunction with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the World Conservation Society (WCS) have indicated that Turneffe Atoll will be part of the National Managed Access Program for Belize within the upcoming year. Please check back for details.