• Punta Gorda native Carla Paulino has worked with TIDE and the University of Belize and just completed her Master’s research at the University of South Pacific in Fiji studying how non-governmental conservation organizations are addressing climate change through fisheries management. In her presentation, Paulino discussed management strategies here in Belize as well as where she studied in Fiji. She compared the nature and effectiveness of fisheries restoration and climate adaptation strategies in marine protected areas in both countries.
    Master’s student compares marine conservation efforts in Fiji and Belize
  • For Belize’s annual Reef Week, TIDE hosted a special edition of FISH in partnership with Oceana Belize. TIDE’s Science Director James Foley presented an update on TIDE’s key research findings from 2015 at the University of Belize’s Punta Gorda Campus for Reef Week participants. Foley highlighted important research TIDE is conducting on Southern Belize’s reefs, including the conch lip thickness at maturity study, and discussed recommendations for future resource management in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.
    TIDE Science Director James Foley presents at special Reef Week Edition of FISH
  • Angelia Lane, Education and Outreach Officer at Ya’axché Conservation Trust, discussed sustainable agricultural practices in Maya communities in Southern Belize in this installment of FISH. She shared her results from surveying efforts in local villages evaluating farming practices and barriers to adopting sustainable practices. Lane focused on agroforestry and cacao farming in particular, and discussed how future outreach efforts can help to develop these more sustainable alternative farming practices in Maya communities.
    Ya’axché Education and Outreach Officer explores sustainable agriculture in Maya Communities
  • Michael Storey is the GIS Technician and Sustainable Land Use Officer at Ya’axché Conservation Trust, where he is working towards improving understanding of forest fires through GIS analysis. He showed how mapping past forest fires can help decipher their causes, and how that information can then be used to predict and hopefully prevent future fires. Michael pointed out areas of high fire risk and shared how his work is helping Ya’axché focus their management and training efforts to promote fire safety in Southern Belize.
    Mapping fire danger in the Maya Golden Lanscape
  • Julie Sabattis is a Master’s student from Colorado State University in the US who partnered with Blue Ventures (based in Sarteneja, Belize) and TIDE for her thesis project assessing human consumption as a viable management strategy for invasive lionfish in Belize. She discussed her social science-based study and the survey she designed and distributed to participants across the country to understand the potential for establishing a commercial market for lionfish. Julie shared the preliminary findings from her research, the challenges faced by fishers wishing to harvest lionfish and the possibility of establishing a reliable market for the invasive fish in the future.
    Visiting research student assesses lionfish markets in Belize
  • Visiting students Erin Hicks and Anna Kellogg from American school Colorado State University shared the results from their work with Ya’axché Conservation Trust studying perceptions of tourism in Maya Communities. Their research found that many Maya people generally welcome tourism into their communities, but questions whether the locals understand the potential consequences associated with tourist development. Erin and Anna are partnering with Ya’axché to work with the communities to ensure sustainable ecotourism development.
    Visiting students at Ya’axché discuss tourism in local Maya Communities
  • Ya’axché Conservation Trust’s Protected Areas Policy Advisor Patricia Cremona presented at this FISH to give TIDE and Ya’axché staff a crash course in global biodiversity policy framework and its relevance to conservation in Belize. She discussed the recent United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting those that apply to conservation and the environment, and what it all means for our work in Southern Belize. Cremona’s informative presentation was very useful for understanding how local conservation projects fit into the grand scheme of global conservation goals.
     Patricia Cremona, Ya’axché’s Protected Areas Policy Advisor, talks global biodiversity policy
  • Master’s students Megan Kite, Megan Jones, Kaylin Clements and Eric Rubenstahl from Colorado State University in the US spent 6 months working with TIDE to create a 5-year management plan for TIDE’s Private Protected Lands (TPPL), the first of its kind for these protected lands. They explained the process undertaken to create the management plan, shared key points from the plan and presented important recommendations for future management of the lands. They also discussed local perceptions of TIDE and the TPPL based on interviews conducted with community members during their research.
    Visiting students from Colorado State University present TPPL’s first Management Plan
  • Victor Bonilla is a Ranger on TIDE’s Private Protected Lands who worked with the Belize Raptor Research Institute (BRRI) as Project Manager for a research project on birds of prey, or raptors, that travel through southern Belize on their annual migration routes. Bonilla told us about his work under the Belize Raptor Watch Program, a joint effort between TIDE, Ya’axché Conservation Trust, Belize Forest Department and BRRI. He explained how raptors use Belize’s coastline for their long journeys through Central America and how his work to understand migration patterns is helping to protect these birds.
    TIDE Ranger Victor Bonilla discusses Migrating Raptor Conservation in Belize
  • TIDE’s very own Science Director James Foley presented at this special Thursday edition of FISH, or “ThISH.” Foley shared the status of the commercial benthic species fisheries for conch, sea cucumber and lobster in Port Honduras Marine Reserve and gave an update on TIDE’s key research findings from 2015. He highlighted the recent conch lip thickness at maturity study, which is aimed at determining the best indicator for maturity in conch to ensure sustainable harvest of this commercially important species. Finally, he discussed how the preliminary findings from this research will help to inform management decisions and future directions for fisheries management.
    TIDE Science Director James Foley shares key research findings from 2015


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