Port Honduras Marine ReserveNote: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.
Chapter 3. SITE DESCRIPTION
d - Human population and current activities
Inhabitants inside the area or in the zone of potential direct impact on the protected area:
|Inside the area||In the zone of potential direct impact|
|Inhabitants||not given||not given||5250||not given|
Comments about the previous table:
Description of population, current human uses and development:
Key stakeholders of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve include local fishers, tour guides, tour operators, hotel and restaurant owners, local residents, recreational users of the protected area, tourists, local and national politicians and large-scale investors. Three communities have been identified as major stakeholders in the protected area, through fishing or tourism.
Punta Gorda, the capital of the Toledo District, lies on the coast to the south of PHMR. It has over 5,000 residents of various ethnic groups, including Creole, Garifuna, Maya and Mestizo. Fishing, tourism and public sector employment are the primary economic activities.
Punta Negra lies on the coast of PHMR and is only accessible by sea. In 1990, there were around 200 people in 40 families. Currently, only 18 people in five families remain. Fishing remains the primary source of income, supplemented to a limited extent by coconut oil production and tour guiding. Punta Negra has great potential for eco-tourism, being in a beautiful beach location close to the cayes, but remoteness and lack of infrastructure are barriers to realizing this potential.
Monkey River Village lies at the north end of PHMR at the Monkey River estuary. It is accessible by land and sea. The population is around 180 people, mostly of Creole ethnicity. The economic activities are commercial fishing and tourism. There are two hotels, three restaurants and over thirty tour guides. The Monkey River Tour Guide Association fosters opportunities for its members but is in need of institutional support.
The predominant fishing methods are using hand lines for finfish, and free-diving for spiny lobster, queen conch, and sea cucumber. In 2011, a managed access fisheries program was implemented in PHMR to stop transboundary fishing and protect the livelihoods of local traditional fishers. Presently, around 120 fishers possess a special Managed Access license to conduct commercial fishing in PHMR. Approximately 200 subsistence fishers (who do not require a special license) also utilize the MPA.
Use of PHMR for tourism is relatively low compared with other Belizean MPA, with approximately 1,200 day visitors per year and almost no overnight stays. It is estimated that 28% of the population of the three buffer communities is employed directly or indirectly in the tourism industry.
The main form of tourism in PHMR is fly fishing. PHMR and adjacent Payne's Creek National Park are regarded as world class fly fishing sites where the ‘grand slam’ can be achieved. Approximately 10 local guides specialize in fly-fishing guiding. Other tourist activities include snorkeling, SCUBA, kayaking and sailing. The primary areas for snorkeling and SCUBA diving are the fringing reefs around the Snake Cayes (except for Middle Snake Caye, which is off limits to tourism).
Two small cruise ships carrying between 20 to 85 passengers visit the cayes within PHMR on a regular basis with landings off West Snake Caye and Punta Gorda Town. One company markets its cruise as an eco-tourism tour and offers natural history educational lectures on board.
In addition to the locals, a significant but so far unquantified number of tour guides and fishers from Guatemala and Honduras use the natural resources of PHMR.
|Activities||Current human uses||Possible development||Description / comments, if any|
|Others||not specified||not specified|