An update from Turneffe Flats, Belize

Turneffe Land Trust 

Turneffe Atoll Trust (TAT) recently accomplished a major long-term goal by securing all the remaining national land at Turneffe (approximately 17,000 acres) to be placed in trust and permanently protected. Turneffe Atoll Trust is Trustee for the Turneffe Land Trust whose beneficial owners are the Government and People of Belize. As Trustee, TAT is charged with safeguarding this property and maintaining it in its natural state perpetually.

This acquisition was funded through a loan from Turneffe Flats and we are hoping to raise additional funds to survey more than 100 parcels making up the Land Trust.

Gill net Ban

Finally, a written agreement with the Government of Belize now offers a clear path to a gill net ban throughout all Belizean coastal waters. Another multi-year effort, the gillnet ban will have substantial long-term benefits for sport fishing, commercial fishing, and Belize’s overall economy.

Nearly two years ago, Turneffe Atoll Trust led efforts to form the Coalition for Sustainable Fisheries. The Coalition proposed a gill net ban in all Belizean Coastal waters based on transitioning licensed gill net fishermen to alternative sustainable livelihoods. We committed $500,000 to this effort and Oceana Belize committed an additional $500,000. Unfortunately, Oceana withdrew their commitment so Turneffe Flats has committed an additional $250,000 to get this over the finish line. We are hopeful that original donors will assist with this additional commitment. 

The transition work with gill-netters has already begun and we feel it will be completed in a few short months. Per our agreement, when the transition is complete a ban will immediately go into effect.

We wish to express our gratitude to the Government of Belize, and particularly Minister Omar Figueroa, for his wisdom and foresight in moving both of these projects forward. This effort would not have been possible without his leadership. 

Donations to the gill net transition fund can be made through the GoFundMe site at www.bangillnetsbelize.com

2020 - 2021 Seasons

All is good at the lodge. Our season is in full swing and 2020 is filling up quickly. Good space is particularly available for scuba diving, with some Fishing and Atoll Adventure openings as well. 

We recommend that those interested in 2021 confirm space as soon as possible, particularly those interested in a group trip. As always, we will honor 2020 rates for everyone deposited prior to our new rates being published.

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