Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve Ecosystem Health Monitoring 2010-2013

Environmental Research Institute, University of Belize (2014) Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve Ecosystem Health Monitoring 2010-2013. Technical Report.

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    Turneffe Atoll is one of four atolls in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System (MBRS) and the largest of all. It forms a major part of the Belize Barrier Reef. The Atoll extends about 48.3 km in length and 16.1 km in width and is located about 32 km east of Belize City (Figure1). It supports critical areas such as reef fish spawning aggregations sites for commercial species including Nassau grouper, has nesting beaches for sea turtles and salt water crocodiles and is a habitat for the West Indian manatee and dolphins, making it the most biologically diverse atoll in Belize and the MBRS and “a global ecological hot spot for marine biodiversity” (Turneffe Atoll Management Plan 2012). Turneffe Atoll was declared a Marine Protected Area in 2012 encompassing the entire atoll and including deep sea areas for an estimated 131,690 hectares, becoming the most recent and largest MPA in Belize. The atoll comprises of 9 management zones of which the General Use Zone is the largest, covering 84% of the Marine Reserve and provides opportunities for commercial fishing and recreational activities. The five conservation zones combined represent 11.7% of the area and areas free from commercial fishing so as to allow undisturbed replenishment of commercial species, and ultimately improve the value of the area for commercial fishing and recreational activities. The Preservation Zone covers 0.9% and has the strictest regulations so as to preserve the area in an entirely natural state. The two special management zones cover 2.7% of the Marine Reserve, and have been established to protect important nursery areas.

    Item Type: Technical Reports (Technical Report)
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      Publisher: Environmental Research Institute
      Keywords: Turneffe, Monitoring, Ecosystem Health
      Subjects: (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBA) Coral Reefs
      (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBE) Mangroves
      (C) Ecosystems > (CB) Marine > (CBH) Seagrasses
      (H) Protected Areas > (HD) Marine Reserve
      Publication Sources: (1) Environmental Research Institute
      Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2014 16:41
      Last Modified: 05 Dec 2014 16:42
      URI: http://eprints.uberibz.org/id/eprint/1482

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