Hol Chan Marine Reserve

Note: The data were entered in the language of the country of origin (English, French or Spanish) and there is no translation available yet.


f - Clarify if some species/habitats listed in section III are the subject of more management/recovery/protection measures than others


Marine / costal / terrestrial ecosystems Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Mangroves no no no
Coral no no no
Sea grass beds no no no
Wetlands no no no
Forests no no no
Others no no no


Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Compositae : Laguncularia racemosa no no no
Hydrocharitaceae: Thalassia testudinum no no no


Species from SPAW Annex 2 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Reptiles: Crocodylus acutus no no no
Reptiles: Caretta caretta no no no
Reptiles: Chelonia mydas no no no
Reptiles: Eretmochelys imbricata no no no
Mammals: Trichechus manatus no no no
Species from SPAW Annex 3 present in your area Management measures Protection measures Recovery measures Comments/description of measures
Hydrozoa: Milleporidae no no no
Hydrozoa: Stylasteridae no no no
Anthozoa : Antipatharia no no no
Anthozoa : Gorgonacea no no no
Anthozoa : Scleractinia no no no

g - Describe how the protected area is integrated within the country’s larger planning framework (if applicable)

not specified

h - Zoning, if applicable, and the basic regulations applied to the zones (attach in Annex a copy of the zoning map)

Name Basic regulation applied to the zone
Zone A Includes the barrier reef and the fore reef. This is a no-take zone and only nonextractive recreational activities are allowed within this zone.
Zone B The sea grass beds. This is the general use zone where fishing is allowed by traditional users only. Spear fishing and the use of nets is prohibited.
Zone C The Mangrove wetlands. This area was set aside for the protection of the Mangroves. Sport fishing is allowed amongst the channels and flats.
Zone D A special conservation area where fishing is allowed to traditional fishermen only except on the Exclusive Recreational Area of Shark Ray Alley.

i - Enforcement measures and policies

Zones are clearly demarcated with marker buoys.

Institutions that share the responsibility for protection and surveillance include the Police Department, The National Coast Guard, the Fisheries Department, the Department of the Environment and the Forest Department.

Currently, the HCMR has a staff of six Park Rangers who are responsible for surveillance and enforcement of the Reserve regulations. These Rangers work on a shift basis and patrol the protected area daily form six in the morning to eight at night. Random patrols are also conducted outside of the normal shifts assigned.

Generally, users of the Reserve abide by the rules and regulations and Rangers just ensure that they are followed. Park Rangers are fisheries Officer and can enforce the regulations. Offenders are dealt with through the court system. The Fisheries Department has a prosecution unit that deals with all court cases .

j - International status and dates of designation (e.g. Biosphere Reserve, Ramsar Site, Significant Bird Area, etc.)

International status Date of designation
Biosphere reserve no
Ramsar site no
Significant bird area no
World heritage site (UNESCO) no
Others: IUCN category II yes 1/1/87

k - Site’s contribution to local sustainable development measures or related plans

Tourism has now become an economic alternative to fishing and many fishermen are now tour guides. However, the current fishing pressure does not allow fish stocks to recover to its natural state.

Fishing and tourism are the primary Socio-Economic activities in Ambergris Caye and Caye Cualker. These activities are dependent on the coastal and marine resources of the island. Most tourists that visit the area come to dive, snorkel or to engage in sport fishing. Diving and snorkeling are dependent and take place on the coral reef. Most visitors to the marine reserve are attracted by the coral reef and its associated marine life. The value of the protected area can be appreciated through the benefits obtained by local stakeholders.

Hundreds of tour guides and tour operators are dependent on the protected area for their livelihood. Tourists perceive protected areas as having a higher quality of marine live and overall experience. Catch and release sport fishing is an important tourism economic activity dependent on a healthy mangrove wetlands. Sport fishermen target bonefish, permit and tarpon that are commonly found in shallow semi-enclosed lagoons, shallow flats and deeper channels found amongst the mangrove islands of the marine reserve. Zone B of the marine reserve provides an area for fishermen to continue their traditional fishing practices. Fishermen who have used this areas before it was protected are allowed to continue commercial fishing for lobster and conch mainly but spear fishing and the use of net are prohibited.

l - Available management resources for the area

Ressources How many/how much Comments/description
Human ressources Permanent staff 16 Currently the HCMR has a total of 16 staff members including seven Park Rangers, a biologist, an environmental educator, three technical assistants, two office assistants, an administrative assistant and a manager. Staff are adequately trained. The manager has a Master's Degree, the biologist is about to complete her Masters Degree program. In addition staff members are training as dive instructors, outboard engine mechanics and graphic design. Guard post on the main accesses
Physical ressources Equipments - Terrestrial vehicles - Marines vehicles - Radio and communications - Environment awareness materials - Capacity to respond to emergencies
Infrastructures - Office and/or laboratory in the field - Visitors information centre
Financial ressources Present sources of funding - Each foreign tourist to the reserve pays a fee of $10.00 USD per person per day. - Special projects, especially for the education program, are funded through grants.
Sources expected in the future
Annual budget (USD)

Conclusion Describe how the management framework outlined above is adequate to achieve the ecological and socio-economic objectives that were established for the site (Guidelines and Criteria Section C/V).