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Education is Critically Important to Conserving Belize’s Flats Fishery

The best approaches to address the looming threats to Belize’s flats fishery are science, needed to inform a strategic approach to conservation, and education. It’s been shown time and time again that enforcement alone is not sufficient. There has to be buy-in from all stakeholders—from the fishing guides, anglers, lodge owners, tour guides—as well as from Belizeans from all walks of life. Only when the importance of the flats fishery and flats habitats to the future of Belize are realized will enforcement be possible. It will take input from an informed Belizean public to enact effective conservation measures. Fortunately, this approach has worked elsewhere—education and socially-based enforcement are common among the islands in the Pacific.

To address the education needs, BTT is developing education materials for schools, as well as materials for broader distribution, in both English and Spanish. We’ll also be interacting with colleagues via numerous workshops. We have a lot planned for the coming years.

Photo: Patrick Williams