Recent News


Important Turneffe Environmental Documents Released

Dr Anthony Fedler analyses the value of Turneffe Atoll in protecting Central Belize, and particularly Belize City, from storm damage.  Dr. Fedler uses the Net Present Value approach in determining that Turneffe Atoll provides US $191 million dollars annually in storm damage mitigation for this area. 

 Dr. Anthony Fedler
"The Value of Turneffe Atoll Mangrove Forests, Seagrass Beds and Coral Reefs in Protecting Belize City From Storms"


Dr. Fedler assesses the Blue Carbon Value of Turneffe Atoll.

Dr Anthony Fedler
"The Blue Carbon Value of Turneffe Atoll"


Dr. Julio Benavides discusses the current effects, likely future changes and possible mitigation strategies for Turneffe Atoll related to Climate Change. 

Dr. Julio Benavides

"Climate Chage Impacts to Turneffe Atoll"

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Hatch Produces Turneffe Atoll Trust Reel

 
Hatch Reels recently produced a beautiful limited edition 7+ reel with profits designated for Turneffe Atoll Trust.  This reel sold out in six weeks but stand by for the release of the 9+ this fall. 

Turneffe Atoll Trust is grateful to Hatch prinicples Danny Ashcraft and John Torok for their generous support.  Their $25,000 donation will quickly be put to good use supporting fisheries habitat in Belize.

 


Illegal Use of Coral Angers NGO's


Cockroach Caye
Few places in the world are blessed with the diverse marine resources found at Belize’s Turneffe Atoll. Turneffe supports both a vibrant tourism economy and a productive commercial fishery. Additionally, the atoll provides valuable protection from storm damage for the mainland, particularly for Belize The illegal use of corals in a 600-foot coral seawall has come under strong criticism from non-government organizations who say the incident could have been averted months ago had the Department of the Environment (DOE) taken the necessary actions.

According to reports received, the DOE and the Fisheries Department had received information earlier this year regarding the alarming case of a development project on South Long Coco Caye (SLCC), where the developer was digging up live coral to build a seawall. 
(read on)





Prepared by Anthony J. Fredler, Phd. Human Dimensions Consulting
September 7th, 2011             

The Economic Value of Turneffe Atoll
                                                                       


Few places in the world are blessed with the diverse marine resources found at Belize’s Turneffe Atoll. Turneffe supports both a vibrant tourism economy and a productive commercial fishery. Additionally, the atoll provides valuable protection from storm damage for the mainland, particularly for Belize City.

Over 60% of Belize’s tourists participate in marine activities during their stay in Belize. As one of Belize’s major marine tourism destinations, Turneffe Atoll is an important component of the Belize tourism economy. With at least 60 named dive sites, Turneffe is visited by divers from around the world who either stay at one of the all-inclusive resorts on the atoll or travel to Turneffe from as far away as San Pedro, Caye Caulker or Placentia. Turneffe’s back-reef flats, creeks, channels and seagrasses offer world-renowned sport fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon and several other species. Turneffe Atoll has been recognized by experts as one to the World’s seven best bonefishing destinations and one of the ten best permit fishing destinations. Turneffe Atoll is also home to many threatened and endangered species including the American saltwater crocodile, Antillean manatee, Hawksbill turtle, goliath grouper, and Nassau grouper making it a centerpiece for eco-tourism and marine research.
For generations, Turneffe Atoll has supported an important commercial fishery. Although this fishery appears to have experienced a significant decline over the past decade, it continues to be an important part of Belize’s economy and an important source of jobs in Belize.
Reefs and mangroves dampen the effects of tropical storms and hurricanes by protecting mainland property from damage. This storm protection is a valuable benefit related to Turneffe Atoll; and Turneffe’s location, directly East of Belize City, makes its ability to moderate storm damage particularly important. These benefits are recognized as essential when considering offshore planning and development decisions (Deitrich 2006; Sadovy 2005).
Much of Belize’s offshore area, including portions of Lighthouse Atoll and Glover’s Reef Atoll, is protected under the National Protected Areas System Plan. Although Turneffe Atoll has long been recognized as a conservation priority, as emphasized in the GAP Analysis by Meerman (2005), Turneffe Atoll currently enjoys no definitive management structure or protected status.

(download full report)


Amandala, Belize'a Leading Newspaper
Your Barrier Reef is in Major Trouble, Belize
August 19th, 2011  


There is so much going on as it relates to our bit of the Caribbean Sea, and, in this writing I hope to open the senses about that which we hold so dear. We need to start paying attention to our things marine, because while “dawn [used to be] a fisherman,” the rest of the day is pure savagery as it relates to our marine resources these days.

The only time we Belizeans seem to take serious notice of our seas is in time of hurricanes, border dispute flare-ups, or some major cocaine-related drama. And while these are important events, we must also look at protecting the “coastal zone” year round. Prevention is better than cure. Yet, we don’t pay much attention when our highly efficient Coast Guard busts rebel fishermen with baby lobsters barely two (2) inches long, protected sea cucumbers, and undersized and out-of-season resources. This ambivalent attitude is not going to cost us later: it’s taking its toll now. Right now!  (read on)