Responsible tourism: Freediving course & Lionfish hunting in Belize
We are a not for profit marine conservation company that focus on conserving the environment by using recreational divers to sustain the organisation. The vision is to help conserve the environment whilst offering the ‘vacation diver’ a chance to put something back into the environment and at the same time obtaining a well earned break.
We are working alongside the Belizean Department of Fisheries and local NGO’s to monitor and maintain the marine environment of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve, Southern Belize. Work includes the surveying and monitoring of commercial species such as lobster and conch, surveying and helping to protect the spawning fish aggregations, water quality testing, turtle conservation, MBRS surveys and Reef Check surveys for long term global studies and analysis.
We are active members of PADI Project AWARE Coral Watch and Whale Shark programmes and also work with Belizean based Ecomar to help remove the invasive non-native lionfish from Belizean waters. All of the dives/marine work is carried out after training and under the watch of trained conservationists.
We are committed to Lionfish research and educating the community about Lionfish awareness and introducing vertical markets as a food source and for jewellery. We empower and employ local ladies to make Lionfish jewellery, which we purchase and sell to our tourists.
All of our supplies are bought locally from the market and general stores. We also spend money with local businesses such as the mechanic who maintains our boat.
It is important to us our guests integrate into the local community. Our guests use local tour guides to see the town and surrounding area which is beautiful and rarely seen. A lot of our guests visit some of the mayan sites and comment how they are the only people there! We employ Belizean people and we run a training program for the youths of Belize where we give young people the chance to become Dive Masters and thus obtain well paid jobs in the touristy resorts such as San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. We also sponsor a local football team and assist in beach cleans whenever possible.