Belize Fisheries

Developing a Shared View of the Status of Belize’s Fishery Resources

Belizean Fishing Boat

A. Tewfik

Home to incredible biodiversity and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, Belize is a global leader in marine conservation. Belize has significant commercial and recreational fisheries that are vitally important to the nation’s economy and coastal communities.  

Belize is at a critical moment. The country is working to expand its Blue Economy, while also developing a Belize Sustainable Ocean Plan and a marine and coastal Project Finance for Permanence initiative. These efforts, along with the passage of the 2020 Fisheries Resources Act, provide a unique opportunity for the country to ensure healthy, resilient, and sustainable fisheries. 

Successful fisheries management relies on good science, fishers’ knowledge, and a robust process for incorporating that information into decision-making. The Belize Fisheries Project team is inviting Belizean fisheries stakeholders to engage in a dialog about the current state of the country’s fisheries resources. The goal is to reach a common understanding among stakeholders to underpin a shared vision of the desired future for this important sector.  

Nassau Grouper and Spiny Lobster
Queen Conch and Dog Snapper

Many species are of critical importance to small-scale fisheries operating across a variety of habitats along the Belize barrier reef, including Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), queen conch (Aliger gigas), and dog snapper (Lutjanus jocu). A. Tewfik

Information about fisheries  

This project brings together international experts in healthy small-scale fisheries, stakeholder engagement, governance, and data collection, analysis, and dissemination.  Our fisheries experts are compiling the best available scientific information on Belize’s commercial and recreational fisheries. Our stakeholder outreach team, ELI and MRAG, are non-partisan, non-lobbying organizations that will provide a neutral forum for discussion.

Various reports and other data about fisheries will be available to you on this website. Please come back periodically to check for updates.  

Your participation  

The goal of this project is to facilitate a transparent and participatory process through which information about fisheries will be shared and discussed. We encourage you to periodically check our schedule of events, which will be updated periodically. This schedule will include events, including Zoom meetings and in-person workshops, that you can attend to learn more about fisheries in Belize and to share your opinions with us.  Reminders about upcoming events will also be posted to our Facebook page, and you can connect with us on WhatsApp.

We also encourage you to share information you have about fisheries in Belize with us by email, phone, or through a virtual or in-person meeting. Please reach out to us at