Turneffe Atoll – Belize’s Jewel in the Crown

In 2012 Turneffe Atoll was declared a Marine Reserve thanks to an important commitment from the Bertarelli Foundation, protecting a wealth of marine life and helping to secure the future of local small-scale fisheries. Find out more about the exciting work that BLUE is doing in this short film.

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BLUE has recently brokered a deal with the government of Belize and the Bertarelli Foundation, with support from Fauna & Flora International, to protect the largest unprotected fragment  of the world’s second largest barrier reef. This remote and diverse area provides vital services to the local communities – through fishing and tourism – and is also home to an array of endangered marine wildlife including manatees, turtles, saltwater crocodiles and rare corals. However threats to Turneffe’s wildlife and fisheries are increasing and over the past 20 years attempts to protect them have been unsuccessful. BLUE has been able to secure both the funding and political will to designate Turneffe Atoll as a multi-use marine reserve and is now working hard, with in–country partners, to balance conservation priorities and the needs of the local population.

All images © Craig Hayes