Port Honduras Marine Reserve in Belize
The Port Honduras Marine Reserve is part of Belize’s ongoing commitment to ocean conservation and habitat protection. Established in 2000, the reserve covers 300 square miles of coastal land along the Caribbean. With hundreds of mangrove cayes, seagrass beds, and coral reef beds, the reserve is a key fishing nursery and conservation zone.
Protecting Port Honduras Marine Reserve
Port Honduras is located in the heart of the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. The many species that depend on this area of the sea include green turtles, manatees, stingrays, dolphins, nurse sharks, loggerhead turtles and hundreds of fish species. This is one of the few remaining reserves for the goliath grouper, an endangered fish. The diverse habitats in this protected area include wetlands, seagrass beds, mangroves, coral and other important ecosystems.
The reserve is divided into three distinct zones:
- Preservation zone: No activity is permitted here unless it’s approved for research purposes.
- Replenishment zone: In this area, only recreational activities are permitted.
- General-use zone: All activities are permitted here, as long as conservation guidelines are followed.
The following guidelines are in place at Port Honduras:
- No gill nets.
- No long-line fishing.
- No beach traps.
- No extractive activities in the preservation or replenishment zones.
Importance of Ocean Conservation in Belize
The establishment of Port Honduras is part of an ongoing initiative that was created in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund, Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment (TIDE), the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Sustainable Fisheries Institute of Belize.
The Toledo Institute has established a ranger station on the reserve, where law enforcement officials ensure that all guidelines and regulations are followed. Anyone who wants to visit the reserve should check in with the TIDE station on Abalone Caye.
Conservation of natural resources has been a priority in Belize ever since it declared independence in 1981. Over 25% of the country’s land and sea is protected by a network of 95 marine and land reserves. Some of the reserves are owned and managed by the Belize Audubon Society.
Fishing in Port Honduras Marine Reserve
Fly fishing is permitted in Port Honduras, but anglers must follow the protective regulations. Please contact Port Honduras ranger station located on Abalone Caye for help with current policies. The Port Honduras Marine Reserve is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled beach that is well worth a visit.