Research & Advocacy Plan for Nassau Grouper Conservation in Belize
Research & Advocacy Plan for Nassau Grouper Conservation in Belize
The Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) is a commercially important endemic species of the Caribbean & Western Atlantic, which has been declining throughout its range for at least the past decade (2). In fact in 1998, it was added to the IUCN list of endangered species and is one of only 2 marine fish in Belize that are endangered.
In Belize, groupers made up more than 30 % (38,383 lbs) of the total finfish exported in 1994, of which, 64 % (24,764 Lbs) consisted of Nassau Grouper. During the 1950’s however, annual grouper catches in Belize were as high as 100,000 lbs (13). Nassau Groupers were at one time fished from the Caye Glory spawning bank on Belize’s barrier reef at a rate of about 2 tons per day during the late 1960s, but the site no longer supports even a recreational catch of groupers.

Although a number of Belize’s fishermen agree that local stocks are rapidly declining and that commercial fishing of grouper should be ceased, a number of other fishermen remain difficult to convince. The principal reasons for this are twofold, and concern the general lack of knowledge & evidence regarding grouper migration & recruitment characteristics.

The overall objective of this project is to prevent further declines and the eventual collapse of the endangered Nassau Grouper stocks by conducting a current stock assessment, community education and outreach program, legislation and advocacy campaign and by the development of economic alternatives.

The project will use simple and easily analyzed techniques for monitoring Nassau Grouper populations, as well as collect traditional fisheries statistics on this capture fishery. Discussions have been held with local fishermen from three identified Nassau Grouper fishing groups who have agreed to assist with the scheduled survey & advocacy work in order to bring direct community involvement into the management process.
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Project Snapshot

Green Reef Environmental Institute
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 42,929.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 42,000.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 108,300.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed
Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Community members will assist in the identification of sites, historical information of fisheries, catch & release surveys, tagging groupers at some sites, and discussing with fellow community members about the grouper project. They will also participate in meetings to help decide on the contents of the new draft legislation.
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Grantee Contact

Mr Mito Paz
Phone: 501-663-2865


100 Coconut Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Latin America & Caribbean ,

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Leonel Requena
(501) 822-2462


UNDP Belize,3rd Floor, Lawrence Nicholas Building Complex ,P.O. Box 53,South Ring Road,
Belmopan, Central America