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Fisheries Department

Ms. Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator

Coastal Zone Multi- Complex Building
Princess Margaret Drive, P.O. Box 148,
Belize City, Belize, Central America
Tel: (501) 223-2623/224-4552/223-2187
Fax: (501) 223-2983

Mission Statement
"To provide the country and people of Belize with the best possible management of its aquatic and fisheries resources, with a view to optimize the present and future benefits through efficient and sustainable management"

The Fisheries Department is divided into four (4) units and several related projects as follows:

Capture Fisheries Unit
The Capture Fisheries Unit (CFU) is the arm of the Belize Fisheries Department responsible for providing the necessary legislative and management interventions to facilitate the continued development and proper management of Belize’s marine fisheries resources. In 2004, important resource assessment exercises were carried out on the lobster (Panulirus argus), conch (Strombus gigas), shrimp (Penaeus notalis ) and West Indian Topshell welk (Cittarium pica) populations in our Belizean waters

Aquaculture & Inland Fisheries Unit
Mission statement of the Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Unit (AQUIF) guides the overall mission for aquaculture development which reads as follows: “To guide the development of a competitive aquaculture industry while at the same time maintaining the viability of the environment and providing responsible stewardship for inland fisheries resources of the nation as well as the ecosystems that supports them, in order to provide sustainable benefits for Belizeans of present and future Generations”. AQUIF is responsible for the Conservation Compliance Unit (CCU) which is charged with patrolling our national waters ensuring that the fisheries laws of Belize are adhered to.

Ecosystems Management Unit
The Ecosystems Management Unit (EMU) of the Fisheries Department consists of management of the marine reserves, marine environmental assessments, CITES marine related matters and regional fisheries policy formulation. Ecosystems management, a new management paradigm, has shifted from specific species and site protection to the protection of entire ecosystems and the regulation of the activities within those systems. The Marine Reserves are Fisheries Management Tools (FMT) implemented by the Department to ensure sustainable fishing.

Administrator & support Unit
The Administration Unit is the support arm of the Department that is tasked with the responsibility of License Issuance, Revenue Collection, Human Resource, Accounts, Purchase, Stores and Security.


The PREPAC project was a project funded by the Taiwanese Government, through SICA OSPESCA for Central America. The project entailed the identification of inland water bodies within the various countries and selection of one as a case study. Belize identified the New River Lagoon for which characterization of the lagoon was made. Activities on the second phase include the collection of socio-economic, physical, biological and environmental data of the lagoon. This information will form the basis for the formulation of a management plan for the New River Lagoon, which will in turn assist in the formulation of a Continental Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Plan for the Central American Isthmus.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS)
The MBRS Project is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Governments of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. The project is implemented by the World Bank and is executed by the four countries through the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) of the System for Central American Integration (SICA). The MBRS project is being executed by the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) on behalf of CCAD, with headquarters in Belize City, Belize.The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System Project goal is to enhance protection of the unique and vulnerable marine ecosystems comprising the MBRS, and to assist the countries of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras to strengthen and coordinate regional policies, regulations, and institutional arrangements for the conservation and sustainable use of this global public good. The MBRS Project assist in training for staff in monitoring, for fisheries in alternative livelihoods, and finances to conduct monitoring such as SYNOPTIC Monitoring for corals, sea grass, mangroves and fish.

Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM)
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism is a project opened to the governments of Caribbean Countries with headquarters in Belize City. The vision of CRFM is “To promote sustainable use of fisheries and aquaculture resources in and among Member States, by development, management and conservation of these resources in collaboration with stakeholders to benefit the people of the Caribbean region.” The project has various projects such as: CFRAMP which is aimed at promoting sustainable utilization, conservation and management of the fishery resources of member countries. The ACP-EU Fisheries Project, "Strengthening of Fisheries and Biodiversity Management in ACP Countries", which was initiated in late 1997 and has the participation of the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Suriname, in addition to the twelve CARICOM countries

The "Integrated Caribbean Regional Agricultural and Fisheries Development Program - Fisheries Component" (CARIFORUM), funded by the European Union under Lome IV, which is intended to augment the efforts of CFRAMP and extend it to the other four CARICOM countries, namely Bahamas, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Suriname. Implementation of this project commenced in August of 1999.


Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, Belize