Port Honduras Marine Reserve

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.

Chapter 6. MANAGEMENT

f - Clarify if some species/habitats listed in section III are the subject of more management/recovery/protection measures than others

Habitats


Marine / costal / terrestrial ecosystems Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Mangroves no no no
Coral yes yes yes The most ecologically valuable coral reefs in PHMR are all contained within replenishment (no-take) zones. Coral reef health is monitored and data fed into the Healthy Reef Initiative. TIDE's watershed management upstream aims to protect coral reefs.
Sea grass beds no no no
Wetlands no no no
Forests no no no
Others no no no

Flora


Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Combretaceae: Conocarpus erectus no no no
Cymodoceaceae: Syringodium filiforme no no no
Hydrocharitaceae: Thalassia testudinum no no no
Rhizophoraceae: Rhizophora mangle no no no
Verbenaceae: Avicennia germinans no no no

Fauna


Species from SPAW Annex 2 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Reptiles: Crocodylus acutus no no no
Reptiles: Crocodylus moreletii no no no
Reptiles: Caretta caretta yes yes yes TIDE responds to all sea turtle strandings and reports the details to EcoMar as part of a national initiative. Injured turtles are cared for and, if necessary, transported to a rehab facility at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Necropsies are performed on dead sea turtles to determine cause of death. TIDE has begun to monitor and protect sea turtle nest but required additional resources to operate a comprehensive program.
Reptiles: Chelonia mydas yes yes yes TIDE responds to all sea turtle strandings and reports the details to EcoMar as part of a national initiative. Injured turtles are cared for and, if necessary, transported to a rehab facility at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Necropsies are performed on dead sea turtles to determine cause of death. TIDE has begun to monitor and protect sea turtle nest but required additional resources to operate a comprehensive program.
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata yes yes yes TIDE responds to all sea turtle strandings and reports the details to EcoMar as part of a national initiative. Injured turtles are cared for and, if necessary, transported to a rehab facility at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Necropsies are performed on dead sea turtles to determine cause of death. TIDE has begun to monitor and protect sea turtle nest but required additional resources to operate a comprehensive program.
Reptiles: Dermochelys coriacea yes yes yes TIDE responds to all sea turtle strandings and reports the details to EcoMar as part of a national initiative. Injured turtles are cared for and, if necessary, transported to a rehab facility at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Necropsies are performed on dead sea turtles to determine cause of death.
Mammals: Trichechus manatus no no no
Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Molluscs: Strombus gigas yes yes yes TIDE monitors conch and enforces closed seasons and size limits within PHMR.
Crustaceans: Panulirus argus yes yes yes TIDE monitors lobster and enforces closed seasons and size limits within PHMR.
Mammals: Eira barbara no no no

g - Describe how the protected area is integrated within the country’s larger planning framework (if applicable)

Belize has an impressive record of establishing protected areas, with a total of 94 marine and terrestrial reserves, spawning aggregation sites, crown reserve cayes supporting important bird colonies, archaeological reserves, and recognized private reserves (NPAPSP, 2005). Almost 2,000,000 acres are designated for conservation (including sustainable resource use) – either as national or private protected areas.


 

The national objectives for conservation revolve around the protection, conservation and rational use of Belize’s natural resources within the context of sustainable human development. These objectives are supported by the National Protected Areas Policy and System Plan (NPAPSP, 2005), which was developed following a full review of the national protected areas system in 2005. The Policy was accepted by Cabinet in January 2006.


 

Port Honduras Marine Reserve is an important component of Belize’s strategies for conservation of the marine environment. Whilst the entire Barrier Reef system and associated coral reef structures do not have full protected status within Belize, there are 13 marine protected areas within the system. Eight of these, including Port Honduras Marine Reserve, are designated as Marine Reserves and administered under the Fisheries Department, the remaining five are administered under the Forest Department, and include two Natural Monuments, two Wildlife Sanctuaries and a National Park (Table 2). A serial designation of specific conservation sites also protects identified spawning aggregation sites within Belize, important for maintaining the viability of many commercial species.

h - Zoning, if applicable, and the basic regulations applied to the zones (attach in Annex a copy of the zoning map)

Name Basic regulation applied to the zone
General Use Zone The General Use Zone shall be restricted to those with the appropriate license for any of the following: commercial fishing (requiring a special Managed Access license), sport fishing, subsistence fishing or recreational fishing. Fishermen shall apply for a license to fish in accordance with these Regulations. Rules for General Use Zone. • Only residents of Port Honduras who have special licences to fish shall be allowed to fish in this zone solely for subsistence purposes, and such fishing shall be determined by the terms and conditions of each resident’s license. • No person shall be permitted to use long lines or gill nets in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. • No person shall be permitted to use or erect beach traps. • No person shall, within the Port Honduras Marine Reserve, cast or drag any anchor in any manner that may damage coral reef formation. • Fishermen catching lobster shall preserve such lobster while in the Marine Reserve within its carapace but not as fillet.
Conservation Zone Rules for Conservation Zone. • There shall only be non-extractive recreational activities in the Conservation Zone. • No person shall engage in water-skiing and jet skiing within this zone. • Sport fishing in the Conservation II Zone shall only be carried out under a license issued in accordance with these Regulations and such fishing shall only be carried out on a catch-and-release basis. • No person shall engage in spear fishing with the Conservation II Zone. • No person shall engage in commercial, recreational and subsistence fishing within the Conservation II Zone. • No person shall engage in trawling, setting nets or traps within the Conservation II zone. • No person shall engage in water-skiing and jet skiing within the Conservation II zone. • No person shall secure a boat to the seabed of the Conservation I and II zones except by means of a mooring that is officially designated for this purpose, (save in the case of an emergency where life and property are endangered), or with the prior, written permission of the Reserve Manager. • All divers in the Conservation I and II zones shall adhere to the following rules: • divers shall register with the Reserve Manager prior to entering the Conservation zones • charter dives shall first obtain a licence in the form prescribed as Form VI of the Schedule before operating in the Conservation zones and all dive • boats shall fly the “divers down flag” when they have divers in the water; • Only certified scuba divers, or divers undergoing a training course conducted by a recognized instructor shall be allowed to use scuba equipment in areas of the Reserve where diving is permitted. • Dive guides shall be required to explain the rules of the Reserve to all divers within the Reserve. • All boats which need to operate in these zones shall first obtain registration from the Fisheries Administrator in accordance with these Regulations. • For the purpose of this Regulation “divers down flag” means a flag with a white diagonal stripe upon a red background. • All motor boats are to observe the low-wake-boat-way when approaching snorkelers or divers.
Preservation Zone Regulations • No person shall engage in commercial fishing, sport fishing, diving or any other water activity within the Preservation zone. • No vessel shall be permitted within the Preservation zone except in cases of emergency or where written permission has first been obtained from the Fisheries Administrator.

i - Enforcement measures and policies

Enforcement in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve is focused on supporting and upholding the following Marine Reserve legislation, and ensuring fishing and tourism rules and regulations are enforced.


 

CORAL:

§  It is Illegal for any person to take, buy, sell or have in his possession any type of coral.  

§  An exception is made in the case of Black Coral (Order ANTIPATHARIA) which may only be bought, sold or exported with a license from the Fisheries Administrator. 

 

BONE FISH (Albulba vulpes) locally known as MACABI:

§  No person should buy or sell, any Bone Fish.  

 

CONCH (Strombus gigas):

§  Shell length should exceed 7 inches.

§  Market clean and fillet weight should exceed 3 and 2.75 ounces respectively.

§  Closed season is from 1st July to 30th September.

§  No fisherman shall buy, sell or possess diced conch meat

 

LOBSTER (Panulirus argus):

§  Minimum cape length is 3 inches.

§  Minimum tail weight is 4 ounces.

§  Closed season is from 15th February to 14th June.

§  No fisherman shall buy, sell or possess fillet or diced lobster tail, soft shell berried lobster or lobster with tar spot

 

MARINE TURTLES:

§  No person should interfere with any turtle nest

§  No person should take any species of marine turtle

§  No person shall buy, sell, or have in his possession any turtle or articles made of turtle parts.

 

NASSAU GROUPER:

§  No person shall take in the waters of Belize, buy, sell, or have in his possession any Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) between 1st December and 31st March

§  No person shall take, buy, sell, or have in his possession any Nassau Grouper which is less than 20 inches and greater than 30 inches

§  All Nassau Grouper are to be landed whole

 

GRAZERS:

§  No person shall take in the waters of Belize, buy, sell, or have in his possession any grazer (of the genera Scarus and Sparisoma, commonly known as parrotfish) and Acathuridae Family, commonly known as surgeonfish and tangs

 

FISH FILLET

§  All fish fillet shall have a skin patch of at least 2 inches by 1 inch.

 

SEA CUCUMBER:

§  No person shall fish for sea cucumber (donkey dung) without a special permit issued by the Fisheries Administrator and from July 1st to December 31st in any one year

 

GENERAL

§  No person shall set traps outside the reef or within 300 feet of the Barrier Reef

§  No spear fishing within marine reserves

§  No fishing without a valid fisher folk or fishing vessel license

No one should fish with scuba gear

 

 

 

This is achieved through a number of Programme areas:

 

§ Patrols

§ Zoning, boundaries  and Regulations

§ Staff

§ Collaboration

§ Reporting

 

Specific activities identified to address limitations under this Programme include:

                          

§  Increased surveillance and enforcement presence in the area, with a second, larger boat, larger motors and establishment of a second  base and surveillance team on West Snake Caye

§  Improved demarcation of boundaries

 

j - International status and dates of designation (e.g. Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Significant Bird Area, etc.)

International status Date of designation
Biosphere reserve no
Ramsar site no
Significant bird area no
World heritage site (UNESCO) no
Others: no
Comments
PHMR is outside of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site but does play an important role in the health of the Belize Barrier Reef by providing a nursery for reef fish.

k - Site’s contribution to local sustainable development measures or related plans

PHMR plays an important role in sustainable development by protecting marine resources on which livelihoods depend. The successful pilot of Managed Access in PHMR played a role in the Belize Fisheries Department's decision to replicate Managed Access throughout the entire national MPA network, a key step toward sustainable fisheries management in the region.

PHMR is also a tourist destination and plays a role in the Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Southern Belize.

l - Available management resources for the area

Ressources How many/how much Comments/description
Human ressources Permanent staff 18 There are eight TIDE staff who work exclusively within PHMR (five rangers, a head ranger, a marine biologist, a Managed Access coordinator and a marine manager). A further 11 research, education, and administrative staff members are involved in managing PHMR and other PA. On average, approximately 4 volunteers are active at any one time.
Volunteers 4
Partners
Physical ressources Equipments Two patrol vessels, one research vessel and one education vessel.
Infrastructures Field station
Financial ressources Present sources of funding Grants make up 95% of the funding for PHMR. The other 5% comes from earned income, including TIDE Tours, TIDE's ecotourism subsidiary. The annual budget figure ($506,000) is the three-year mean for the period 2011-2013.
Sources expected in the future TIDE plans to increase the proportion of non-grant funding for PHMR. Planned novel sources include an individual donors program and Ridge to Reef Expeditions paying volunteer program (http;//www.fromridgetoreef.com).
Annual budget (USD) 506000

Conclusion Describe how the management framework outlined above is adequate to achieve the ecological and socio-economic objectives that were established for the site (Guidelines and Criteria Section C/V).

The conservation strategies outlined for Port Honduras Marine Reserve in the conservation planning section of the management plan are integrated into the management Programmes, contributing towards the adaptive management process. In 2008, TIDE was one of six organisations that signed a charter to develop and implement a Conservation Action Strategy (CAS) for the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor (MMMC), spanning approximately one million acres of land and 1000 acres of seascape. The other organisations included the Government of Belize’s Forest and Fisheries Departments, Ya'axché Conservation Trust (a local non-governmental organisation), and two international organisations, Fauna & Flora International and The Nature Conservancy. Through extensive consultation with local communities and other stakeholders, this strategy identified the greatest threats to the biodiversity of the area and formulated a five year integrated plan for addressing these threats. The strategies of the Conservation Action Plan for the Maya Mountains Marine Corridor (of which PHMR is a component) are also integrated, to ensure that the PHMR fulfils its role in the seascape, assisting Fisheries Department and TIDE in ensuring the long-term conservation of the MMMC.