Coral Reefs and Debt-for-Nature Swaps

Cathleen Lyn Bester cbester at
Wed Feb 21 08:49:28 EST 1996

	In response to your email concerning coral reefs throughout the  
world, I may be able to give you some information.  During 1994 summer I  
worked as a work-study at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off of San Pedro in  
Belize.  Hol Chan is a marine reserve set up by the Belize Dept of  
Fisheries with some help from USAID.  You can get in contact with them at: 
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.  They can  
provide some answers for you on the state of the reef there.  Also, the  
department of fisheries may be able to help you - they are located in  
Belize City as well as the Belize Center for environmental studies on Eve  
Street in Belize City, Belize.  Due to the fact that Hol Chan is a  
"eco-tourist" destination, I found it to be badly damaged by snorkelers  
and SCUBA alike.  I took part in the marine patrol during the summer and  
saw people touching and standing on everything - a bit of a disaster.   
Many of the grey snapper there also had fungal infections due to being  
touched by humans as they are used to being fed (which is now illegal there)! 
To all concerned:   	I am currently a masters degree student working on the  
mechanisms that occur between the coral polyp and its symbiotic  
zooxanthellae, carrying out my research in Bermuda.  If anyone has any  
info on such subjects, it would be greatly appreciated... 
Cathy Bester 

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