Honoring Sustainable Fishers on World Fisheries Day 🐠🦈🐟 – Nov 21, 2023

In celebration of World Fisheries Day, which is observed on November 21st, we asked our partners to nominate a fisherman or woman for a special feature to recognize and commend their commitment to responsible fishing practices.

Meet the nominees who sustainably harvest while safeguarding the marine environment for future generations, contributing to job creation and Belize’s thriving blue economy.

Agustina Cruz – a second-generation fisherwoman in Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, transformed her traditional unregulated fishing practices into sustainability. Influenced by SACD’s conservation efforts, she became a steward actively promoting sustainable fishing, transitioning from full-time fishing to innovative eco-tourism and earned SACD’s Fisher of the Year 2022-2023.

Alexander Garbutt – Born and raised in Monkey River, Alex is a seasoned commercial fisher and member of the MarAlliance research team, actively contributing to shark protection regulations. Diversifying as a fisher, tour guide, and research technician, he integrates fishers into conservation, reducing fishing pressure.

Carlos Arevalo – showcases sustainable fishing through selective harvesting, adherence to regulations, and active involvement in educational initiatives. As a veteran fisherman, he embraces responsible adaptation, incorporating solar panels and promoting cleanliness in seafood processing, and champions environmental causes, inspiring the next generation through his environmental activist son.

Hilmar Salazar – a seasoned commercial fisher in Sarteneja, Belize, serves as MarAlliance’s Community Field Coordinator, advocating for large marine wildlife. With over 20 years of fishing experience, he not only leads training initiatives but also stands as a testament to fishers taking a leading role in conservation, actively influencing policy changes for shark protection in Belize.