As the Belize-Mexico Program Manager, Addiel leads BTT’s conservation efforts in the region. BTT’s approach in Belize and Mexico focuses on the social, cultural, economic, and ecological connections that must be understood to ensure a healthy flats fishery for the future.
Addiel joined BTT in 2019 after completing his Ph.D. on bonefish movements and pre-spawning site identification in southern Mexico and northern Belize, where he was born in the small fishing community of Sarteneja. His experience in the lobster and conch fisheries with his father during his early years set the stage for his life goal: contribute to the sustainability of fisheries resources while improving the lives of those who reside in coastal communities.
Addiel’s integration into conservation and management began in 1997, when he volunteered and trained with many local and international researchers that collaborated with non-government organizations such as Program for Belize, Belize Audubon Society, and Coastal Zone Authority and Institute. After earning an associate degree in Marine Science, followed by a bachelor’s degree in Biology, he worked for a year in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project before becoming manager of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve in 2006. Addiel went on to earn an interdisciplinary master’s degree in Natural Resources and Rural Development with a focus on Management in Mexico. While working on his master’s, he characterized the recreational-sport fishing of Belize using a Mixed-Methods Approach. He also used this approach in combination with tagging to understand bonefish movements and identify pre-spawning sites during his Ph.D. studies. Click here to access Dr. Perez’s ResearchGate page.