Recently, I traveled to Belize to see how TURF-reserves (territorial use rights for fishing co-located with no-take zones) are performing and learn about plans to expand them nationwide. The Mesoamerican Reef, the largest in the Atlantic Ocean, spans the Belizean coastline and is rich in biodiversity and a crucial source of income for thousands of fishers. Coastal fisheries, however, are at risk due to overfishing, and other pressures such as coastal development and climate change.
In Belize, fishers have seen a decline in their catch, and the Belize Fisheries Department is using TURF-reserves to provide fishers the right incentives to become better stewards of their resources. As fishers take better care of their fishing area they will realize benefits and secure them for future generations. This approach to fisheries management is known as “Managed Access.” In 2008 the Belize Fisheries Department began working with EDF, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), and other Belizean institutions to deploy two Managed Access pilot projects.
Motivated by the success of the projects, the Belizean government is committed to expanding Managed Access to nearly half its fishing grounds, setting the country on a course to comprehensively rebuild and conserve its fisheries and precious biodiversity. Read More
It’s no secret that working directly with fishermen to implement fishery management solutions is the most effective way to support positive change. Recently, we have begun engaging in conversations with fishermen, fishery stakeholders and MEPs on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy in Europe. EDF was recently acknowledged in an article in Under Current News for being a leading NGO in European fisheries reform—due in large part to our collaborative approach with fishermen. Britt Groosman, our EU Program Director, was quoted extensively in this article.
“’EDF has found that the most successful way of working towards fishery management is by consulting fishermen in a participatory process,’ Britt Groosman, program director for EDF in the EU, told Undercurrent. ‘The way to find that out is to talk to all the stakeholders and see what everyone’s concerns are, to try and find a way to get environmental improvement with the buy-in of all the stakeholders involved. Because the more you impose your will on people the more you’ll end up with control issues. People don’t like being told what to do and they’ll try to get around rules. The fishermen are the people who implement the policy on the water, and have the real influence,’ she said.”
Read the full article to learn more about how we find solutions, at home and abroad, no matter how challenging the problems. Read the full article here.
Posted in Europe Also tagged CFP, EU, problem solving