Belize’s marine ecosystem, including both fisheries and reefs, is threatened by climate change, unsustainable coastal development, and overfishing. Declining fish stocks and habitat loss have affected the livelihoods of thousands of fishermen who depend on these sources of income.
With the support of TNC, Belizeans have found an alternative that not only provides additional income, but also provides a habitat for species of ecological and commercial importance such as the Spiny Lobster, Snapper, and Parrotfish. Our research suggests a lot of positive social, economic, and ecological impacts that occur as a result of sustainable seaweed cultivation. TNC has partnered with fishing communities–providing training on best management practices for a sustainable seaweed mariculture industry that benefits the environment while creating a reliable source of food and employment for coastal communities.