Population Structure Assessment of Fished Marine Species within Belize
University of Belize Environmental Research Institute UB-ERI
Belize Barrier Reef System
BFSF Thematic Area:
April 2023 – March 2026
BFSF Funds ($BZD):
Incorporating genetics data into fisheries management in Belize
- Determine the population structure of 4 finfish indicator species.
- Gather fishers’ knowledge and perceptions regarding the population connectivity and structure of target commercial species to support fisheries science and management.
- Align genetic population structure with data fishers’ knowledge and perceptions of population structure and connectivity.
- Determine whether deep-water queen conch populations are serving as a source population for the fished, shallow-water queen conch populations.
- Genetic samples collected.
- Population structure determined from genotype.
- Genetic data generated is shared with Belize FiD, relevant Marine Protected Areas Managers and stakeholders to inform the MSP and Fisheries management plans.
- Academic publication on the species population structure in Belize, written in conjunction with relevant stakeholders.
- Expertise in using molecular techniques in Belize developed.
- Possibility of a genomics lab in Belize assessed.
- Socio-ecological survey questionnaire developed and conducted.
- Workshop held with fishers, the Belize FiD, and relevant agencies to co-develop fish population maps aligned with management zones.
- Fisher’s knowledge and perceptions regarding the population connectivity from socio-ecological surveys incorporated with genetic data on population structure.
- Queen conch population structure in Turneffe Atoll published.