Protection and Conservation of Commercial Species and Fish Spawning Aggregation Sites in Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve 


Toledo Institute for Development and Environment


Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve

Thematic Area:

Protection For Biodiversity


July 2023 – June 2026

Funds from Belize Fund ($BZD):


Co-financing ($BZD):


Project Goal:

To enhance the protection and biodiversity conservation of commercial species and legally established FSAs within SCMR including the Cayman Crown site

Project Objectives:

  1. Legally established FSA sites within the SCMR including Cayman Crown (CC) are protected on an annual basis during spawning seasons using innovative approaches and technology with the aim of legal recognition of CC as a no-take zone by 2025. 
  2. Commercial fish species (conch, lobster, sea cucumber) are monitored annually 
  3. Improve community livelihood and engagement of CC buffer communities and coordination within the Belize Marine Protected Areas Network for more effective enforcement and monitoring 
  4. Strategic alliances and partnerships with Guatemalan and Honduran counterparts to address transboundary issues established 

Expected Outputs:

  1. Innovative and effective surveillance and patrols conducted at the 3 FSA sites within the SCMR including CC secured. 
  2. Relevant training for effective surveillance and enforcement during spawning seasons completed for SCMR enforcement team. 
  3. Conduct annual monitoring and characterization of the fish spawning aggregations in Cayman Crown to strengthen support for no-take zone declaration within 2 years. 
  4. Amended SI that designates CC as a no-take zone resulting from SPAGs data and consultations. 
  5. Innovative and scientific research explorations conducted. 
  6. Desktop review of Feasibility studies for income diversification opportunities completed by year 1 and implemented in at least 3 communities in year 2 and 3. 
  7. Develop framework and implementation plan for joint training on enforcement and monitoring across the BMPAN 
  8. Mechanisms established through the Trinational Alliance for the Conservation of the Gulf of Honduras (TRIGOH) to address transboundary issues at Cayman Crown in year 2. 
  9. Cooperation Agreement signed in 2021 by TIDE, the Foundation for Ecodevelopment and Conservation (FUNDAECO), Guatemala, and the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI) for the management and conservation of the Cayman Crown site in Belize and Guatemala is expanded in scope and inclusive of Honduras by year 2. 
  10. Stakeholder mapping exercise completed in Honduras and Guatemala with the cooperation of MAR Team – Coral Reef Alliance (Honduras) and FUNDAECO (Guatemala) for buffering communities that use Cayman Crown by year 2. 
  11. Tri-national fisher forum held to improve coordination in protected areas in the three countries.