We have to be proud of our environmental pioneers here in Belize as they have every intention of ensuring our reef retains and indeed flourishes under their guidance! The Belize Shark Project, just one of those groups have spent the last two weeks recording data of the various sharks in the area and tagging them at the same time.
The purpose of this is to protect the ever decreasing shark population on our reef due to fishing . Sharks are apex predators that sit at or near the top of the food chain. They are vital components of healthy and functional marine ecosystems, playing key roles in structuring fish communities and fostering reef resilience.
The research enables us to understand better the habits and habitats of the sharks up in Northern Belize. With sharks maturing so slowly it is important that they all reach the age to reproduce and also ensure that their breeding grounds are not disturbed by any fishing whatsoever. The BSP has been there to educate the general public as to why they should not eat and fish shark and also lobby for additional rules and regulations to safe-guard these amazing fish.
The research areas were the Corazol bay, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve with our Nurse Sharks. The key drivers behind this project is the well regarded Rachel Graham – Marine Biologist and active Environmentalist (in fact participating on one of the outings was a gentleman writing and article on Rachel for Mens Journal), much of the Belize Dive Services staff (including Chip Petersen the owner) and Hllmar.
The work is time consuming and expensive but our marine environmental warriors continually strive to protect what arguably is Belize’s jewel in her crown – thank you to all concerned!!