Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the importance of this report. It has amazed us how many of our guests have real success in their dream of making the "Grand Slam" of flats fishing. The photo shows the 50 lb tarpon our neighbor caught in the lagoon last week.
Prepared by: Anthony J. Fedler, Ph.D.
Belize is renowned throughout the sport fishing world for its exceptional opportunities to fish for bonefish, permit and tarpon. Belize is, in fact, one of the few places in the world offering fishermen a chance for the “Grand Slam” of flats fishing – a bonefish, permit and tarpon all caught in a single day. One popular magazine recently noted that three of the World’s top ten permit fishing destinations are located in Belize and this world-class fishing draws fishermen from all corners of the world.
Belize delivers what sport fishermen (and women) are looking for – unspoiled shallow-water flats, rivers and lagoons with the opportunity to fish for these prized species. These outstanding fisheries resources, coupled with top-quality fishing guides, fishing lodges and hotels makes Belize a primary destination for international fisherman.
Sport fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon makes a significant contribution to Belize’s economy.
• Tourists contribute nearly $400 million (BZ) annually to the Belizean economy and support more than 13,000 jobs which accounts for nearly 17% of the Belize GDP.
• Sport fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon creates an annual economic impact of over $25 million (BZ) in direct expenditures in the Belizean economy plus an additional $31 million in Value Added expenditures for a total yearly economic impact of roughly $56 million. This amounts to approximately 6% of the Belize’s tourist economy.
• Sport fishing for these three species results in approximately $2.7 million in Hotel Tax, Property Tax, Business Tax, GST, Employee (income and social security) Taxes, and Airport Exit Taxes generated for the Belizean treasury.
• Nearly $30 million in annual wages and salaries as well as 1,800 full-time jobs are supported by these three species.
• In 2007, more than 100 independent fishing guides provide services to approximately 4,800 international fishing guests at hotels and resorts throughout Belize, and at least 13 fishing lodges hosted nearly 1,000 international anglers from Europe, Canada, the United States and elsewhere.
• Virtually all bonefish, permit and tarpon caught by sport fishermen in Belize are released back to the water alive making this annual economic contribution fully sustainable. Therefore, with adequate management, it is quite realistic to suggest that sport fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon will generate an economic impact of roughly $600 million for Belize over the upcoming decade.