14 Sept 2020 - Belize is making giant strides in its ocean conservation efforts. In the short space of a month, the government made two big decisions to help protect its oceans: it expanded an existing marine reserve to cover an ecologically important reef complex, and initiated the process of establishing a nationwide ban on gillnet fishing.
- In August 2020, the Belizean government enacted two conservation efforts — the expansion of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to be seven times its original size, and a plan to phase out gillnet fishing by 2022.
- The Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve contains the ecologically important Corona Reef, which has been threatened by transboundary illegal fishing in the past.
- The marine reserve expansion has helped Belize meet its international commitment to the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Aichi Target 11 / SDG 14.5, which calls for nations to protect at least 10% of their marine environments by 2020.
- In order to bring gillnet fishing to an end, the Belizean government will help fishers transition to more sustainable livelihoods.
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