STATUS OF MARINE ECOSYSTEMS AT TURNEFFE ATOLL

University of Belize, Environmental Research Institute (2011) STATUS OF MARINE ECOSYSTEMS AT TURNEFFE ATOLL. Technical Report.

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    Abstract

    Turneffe atoll is one of three atolls in Belize and the largest of four atolls in the western hemisphere. It is located between Belize’s main barrier reef and the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, about 50 km east of Belize City. Turneffe is characterized by its large and numerous mangrove cayes and lagoon areas. The atoll spans about 50 km in lengths and 16 km in width. Turneffe Atoll forms part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System which spans from northern Yucatan in Mexico, down to the Bay Islands of Honduras, stretching approximately 1,000 km in length ( Figure 1). Turneffe Atoll functions as fishing grounds to the national conch, lobster and fin fish industry. The atoll also serves as a tourism destination for overnight tourists who look for diving, sport fishing activities and outdoor activities. Over the past decades the Atoll has also been utilized for scientific studies on the marine environment. Over the years the atoll has been witness to numerous natural and anthropogenic events such as hurricanes, bleaching, development, and increased fishing. All these events impact the health of the marine environment and ultimately users who depend on the resources. Given the nature of the marine environment and its complexity, changes are better observed over long periods of time. Identifying the changes in the marine ecosystems require long-term monitoring of them. Given that the Turneffe Atoll is located in the Mesoamerican region of which Belize is a part of, the MBRS Synoptic Monitoring Program 2003 was implemented for long term monitoring of ecosystem health at Turneffe Atoll in 2010. In 2010 the biological component of the MBRS SMP Program was implemented for; Coral Reef Ecology and Associated Ecosystems. The chemical/pollution component and physical oceanography components are expected to follow in the coming years.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
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      Publisher:
      Keywords: marine, results, monitoring, Belize, barrier reef
      Subjects: (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBA) Coral Reefs
      (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBB) Deep Sea
      (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBE) Mangroves
      (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBH) Seagrasses
      Publication Sources: (1) Environmental Research Institute
      Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2012 03:45
      Last Modified: 16 Apr 2012 03:45
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1325

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