Socioeconomic Assessment of the Sea Cucumber Fishery in Belize

Perez, Arlenie A and Garcia, Olga (2012) Socioeconomic Assessment of the Sea Cucumber Fishery in Belize. Technical Report.

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      Sea cucumbers have been fished in Belizean waters for the past 20 years with the original market being in Guatemala and a local market in Belize (Asians living in Belize). Over the years, the markets and prices have increased. Since the fishery was legally opened in 2009, fishers are content with an alternative fishery other than lobster, conch and fish to the point where some fishers rate sea cucumber fishing as their primary fishing activity. Of the eight species reported to occur in Belizean waters, two species are commercially exploited despite the fact that the Belize Fisheries Department only allows the harvest of one species. There is evidence that new sea cucumber species that have not been recorded from Belize are being found in Belizean waters. Although fishers know very little about the sea cucumber biology or ecology, they have noticed a decrease in catch and now need to travel farther to fish sea cucumbers. The addition of more licensed and unlicensed fishers and new exporters increases harvest even though the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has not been met since the fishery opened. Sea cucumbers sold locally are not reflected in the market economy or used to cut the TAC. The wet weight peak price in 2011 with small scale exporters dramatically decreased in 2012 as small scale exporters are unable to compete with large scale exports.

      Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
      Related URLs:
        Publisher: Environmental Research Institute
        Subjects: (I) Socio-Economic Information > (IA) Economic Impacts
        (I) Socio-Economic Information > (IB) Economic Valuation
        (Z) Other or Unspecified
        Publication Sources: (1) Environmental Research Institute
        Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2012 14:01
        Last Modified: 17 Oct 2012 15:28

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