Oceana, an international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, announced a few days ago on their blog that they bought out Belize’s last two trawlers as part of a government-backed move to stop all trawling activities in the surrounding waters. In December 2010 Belize banned trawling, joining Venezuela and Palau as the third country to ban these activities, but this buyout essentially finishes off mid-water and bottom trawling. And the ban doesn’t just focus on the pristine seas that surround Belize. It will also ban all trawling in inland rivers and lagoons. Out of all the money going into the buyout, $100,000 is earmarked for micro-loans for local fishermen and another $60,000 for disaster relief.
This is all good new of course, as Belize has the second largest barrier reef in the entire world, smaller than only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.