The Great Barrier Reef of Belize

Posted by David Kafka on 08/17/2017 06:01 PM

The Great Barrier Reef of Belize by Chloeann G.

Belize is home to the second largest living barrier reef which stretches 137 miles along Belize’s shoreline. It is the most enormous and undamaged reef system in the northern hemisphere, the Belize Barrier Reef consists of 8 key marine reserve zones, 400+ cayes / islands and 3 atolls.

The Barrier reef is home to a large assortment of flora and fauna and is one of the most miscellaneous ecosystems in the world with over 500 species of fish, 70 hard coral, 36 soft coral species and hundreds of invertebrate species. In the year 1996 Belize’s Barrier Reef was recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its indigenous habitats and natural development. It is Belize’s top tourist destination, popular for scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Marine reserves are devised for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems, including marine wildlife and its ambiance. more than half of these reserves contribute to the protection of the Barrier reef which provides a protective shelter for untarnished atolls. Marine reserves are legislated under the fisheries Act, and are administered by the fisheries department. One of its main responsibilities is to insure the sustainable withdrawal of marine resources.

There are currently eight marine reserves, which is either headed by the department, or in partnership with non-governmental agencies: The Bacalar chico reserve, Caye Caulker, Gladden spit and silk Cayes, Glover’s reef, Hol Chan Port Honduras, Sapodilla Cayes and South water caye.

There are three distinct Caribbean atolls: Turneffe Atoll, Glover’s reef and Lighthouse reef. The Lighthouse reef is the most easterly diving area in Belize, it is home to the Great Blue Hole.

There is nothing like the great Barrier Reef of Belize, words nor pictures can do it justice. It's something you'd have to see for yourself!

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