Marine Conservation without Borders in the News

American Scientist:

“Through hard work and a little help from a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research, along with several other awards, Appalachian State University (ASU) applied anthropology major Robert C. Thigpen III made several trips to sunny Caye Caulker off the coast of Belize to study the lobster fishery of the western Caribbean. The streets of the four-mile-long island are made of sand, and most of the 1,200 permanent residents of Caye Caulker are more apt to travel by golf cart or bicycle than automobile. The island is popular with scuba divers, snorkelers, anglers and tourists, but commercial fishing is still an important source of revenue.”

Read more (page 3):

The San Pedro Sun:

“Appalachian State University anthropology major Robert Carson Thigpen III has spent nearly a year immersed in the culture of Caye Caulker, a small island off the coast of Belize that relies heavily on its fishing industry.

The oldest fishing co-operative on the island, the Northern Fisherman’s Co-operative Society Ltd. (NFCS), offered him an internship in January 2005. Through hard work and a little help from an international scholarship, Thigpen was able to stay in Belize for seven months to learn about the life of a lobster fisherman.

Thigpen’s experiences led to several research opportunities. After observing NFCS quality checks and noticing that many of the lobsters presented were gaining weight after they were caught, he decided to investigate further. Thigpen discovered that many fishermen saturate the tails of their catch in water before the quality checks begin causing the lobsters to be recorded as heavier than their true weight. As a result, many lobsters that are too young to have been able to reproduce are caught and passed off as weighing the legal limit.”

Read more at the San Pedro Sun.

Open Your Eyes (Belize TV):