Lionfish spearing marine conservation in Belize

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Departure information

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Lionfish spearing marine conservation in Belize

Environment

We are a not for profit marine conservation company that focus on conserving the environment by using recreational divers to sustain the organisation. The vision is to help conserve the environment whilst offering the ‘holiday diver’ a chance to put something back into the environment and at the same time obtaining a well earned break.

We are working alongside the Belizean Department of Fisheries and local NGO’s to monitor and maintain the marine environment of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Southern Belize. Work includes the surveying and monitoring of commercial species such as lobster and conch, surveying and helping to protect the spawning fish aggregations, water quality testing, turtle conservation, MBRS surveys and Reef Check surveys for long term global studies and analysis. We are active members of PADI Project AWARE Coral Watch and Whale Shark programmes and also work with Belizean based Ecomar to help remove the invasive non-native lionfish from Belizean waters.

Community

We bring tourists to the area who spend money in restaurants, local stores and with tour guides. All of our supplies are bought locally from the market and general stores.

We also spend money with local businesses such as the mechanic who maintains our boat. It is important to us our guests integrate into the local community. Our guests use local tour guides to see the town and surrounding area which is beautiful and rarely seen. Alot of our guests visit some of the mayan sites and comment how they are the only people there! We employ Belizean people and we run a training program for the youths of Toledo where we give young people the chance to become Dive Masters and thus obtain well paid jobs in the touristy resorts such as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. We also sponsor a local football team and assist in beach cleans whenever possible.

Reviews of Lionfish spearing marine conservation in Belize

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 30 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hard to choose just one most memorable or exciting part, but if I have to choose, then it was snorkelling with the whale sharks. That was just amazing and we were so lucky to see them that close!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


One week is definitely not enough. I stayed two weeks and wish I could have stayed longer. Don't worry about finding accommodation prior/post the island stay or wandering what to do over the weekends, Jo at the operator is one of the most helpful persons I have ever met. Thanks again Jo for all your help!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the project gives jobs to local people and provides important information for the fishery department. And of course helps with reducing the numbers of lionfish and raising awareness for marine conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The best diving holiday I did so far and it will be hard to beat. I learned so much about fish identification and substrates and this makes diving much more enjoyable.

Reviewed on 06 Oct 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The entire trip was a blast! Multiple dives per day without another diver in sight, unspoiled beauty of the amazing reef, incredible food, etc. etc. Everything about this trip was memorable and exciting!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Although the island accommodations are comfortable and the staff is amazing, this is not a high-end luxury trip. The staff takes good care of you, but there are a few (modest) inconveniences such as no WiFi during the day, limited fresh water and limited electricity. These are good things if you are trying to get away from it all, but would be a challenge if you are trying to conduct business. Let's face it, you should not be conducting business on a SCUBA diving trip in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, but if you want to do that, you should find another location. If you want to focus on diving with a great bunch of people, you can't do much better than this.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely. We saw the benefits for the reef first hand and saw the economic benefits when we visited a restaurant on the mainland (Asha's Kitchen) which the operator supplies with lion fish. They also have several locals on staff and works hard to use local tour guides for trips.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall, this holiday exceeded my expectations.

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