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BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy hold Seaweed Cultivation Training in Little Water Caye


The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with  EXPORTBelize, a unit of the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) held a Seaweed Cultivation Training from March 3rd – March 5th in Little Water Caye; which provided both a theory session along with hands on experience to fishermen in seaweed farming and cultivation. This initiative was one of many activities under a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed in November 2016. A key objective of this MOC is to support fisheries diversification through the development of a sustainable seaweed industry in Belize.

 

This three day training was facilitated by Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited, whose members have previously received intensive training and certification in seaweed cultivation. Ten participants from four fishing cooperatives along with a representative from EXPORTBelize and TNC were trained and received certificates.  The participants included representatives from Toledo Fishermen Association, Sarteneja Fishermen Association, Wabaffu Fishermen Association and Turneffe Seaweed Farmers. The training included seaweed cultivation techniques, farm building and designing, harvesting techniques and the drying process.

 

For more information on The Nature Conservancy visit  The Nature Conservancy Belize page.

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EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE and the Nature Conservancy holds meeting to discuss development of Belize’s Seaweed Industry.


EXPORTBelize, Beltraide and The Nature Conservancy facilitated a working session with fisher groups from Hopkins, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Sarteneja, Dangriga and Belize City, along with a representative from the Belize Federation of Fishers, to discuss development of Belize’s Seaweed Industry. This session is just one activity under a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed between BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy in November 2016. A key objective of the MOC is to encourage a sustainable seaweed industry in Belize that provides products for local and international markets and directly impact livelihoods of coastal communities while restoring ecosystem health.

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Each group was given the opportunity to report on the status of development relating to seaweed and to report on challenges faced in trying to advance their seaweed operations. The discussions were fruitful and the groups embraced a collaborative approach, offering advice to one another and applauding each other for efforts and accomplishments to dates. Both Agencies took the opportunity to outline their roles in the partnership and facilitated discussions on strategies to address challenges faced. The session concluded with discussions on the way forward relating to capacity building, marketing, market research and other efforts to advance development of the industry.

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BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy Sign an MOU


The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), through its EXPORTBelize Unit, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organisation based in the USA, which seeks closer collaboration in encouraging a sustainable seaweed aquaculture industry in Belize.

 

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(L-R) Debbie Alfaro : Projects Officer, BELTRAIDE ; Shahera McKoy : Manager, EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE;  Alejandro Martinez : Country Representative , Nature Conservancy ; Lejia Melanie Gideon : General Manager , Enterprise and Innovation Division, BELTRAIDE, Julianne Robinson: Nature Conservancy

 

Under the MOU, BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy will establish a working committee, which in addition to sharing data and information, will work with fishermen, the Coral Caye Ltd. and the Placencia Co-op Society to develop a comprehensive business plan for a sustainable seaweed aquaculture business.

 

This business plan will include a curriculum that provides information on best-practices that highlight conservation values, facilitates replication, ensures quality assurance and control of seaweed production as well as provide a long-term system to  share lessons across the country and the region.  Best practices will also target maximizing benefits to wild conch and lobster populations and coral reefs. This includes spatial mapping of priority sites to capture resilient reefs and incorporation of nursery habitats within replenishment zones.

 

The MOU also aims to promote the development of a Centre of Excellence to deliver the curriculum through local and international partnerships with fishers, academia, private sector, government and  non-government organisations.

 

Furthermore, both organisations will jointly pursue a loan scheme with credit unions and other local financial institutions to increase access to financing for fisher folks. It will also identify international markets for products developed under this joint initiative.

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The MOU was signed by Ms Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise andInnovation, Beltraide and Mr Alejandro Martinez, Country Representative of The Nature Conservancy.  The signing was witnessed by Ms Shahera McKoy, Manager EXPORTBelize, BELTRAIDE and Ms Julianne Robinson from The Nature Conservancy.

 

United Kingdom Buying Shrimp in Belize!


A strong will to increase its export market base and achieve the coveted international Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification led to the formation of the Belize Shrimp cluster and it is now reaping the benefits of accomplishing both goals.

 

Challenged by an unforeseen viral disease which severely impacted the Belize shrimp industry, the cluster still managed to successfully supply UK based multinational retailer Marks and Spencer as well as the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, Sainbury’s, with 1.1 million pounds of shrimp in 2015.

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Under the Sainsbury agreement, the shrimp is repackaged under its premium brand and sold exclusively by the chain as it has agreed not to source shrimp from any other supplier under its brand. This has resulted in a higher than projected price premium for exports to these markets.

 

 

Read more on Compete Caribbean’s website!

 

 

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