WCS Belize

Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART)

In order to improve effectiveness and monitoring and enforcement of marine protected areas in Belize, WCS, with the support of the Fisheries Department, introduced the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) in Belize. This tool has been used efectively in in terrestrial protected areas in Africa and Asia, and Belize was the first country to implement in the marine realm. The SMART software integrates data collection and GIS technology to standardize and map information collected during sea patrols. Through the use of tablets, enforcement officers are able to utilize the application while on patrols to collect information such as the location where enforcement officers come in contact with fishers, vessels etc. Using the desktop application, the data can then be used to generate a report and complementary map. SMART is useful in identifying how to best use resources, it visually illustrates efforts made, easily generates reports, and enables users to run queries. It is envisioned that the information collected through the use of SMART will eventually be used in the court of law and facilitate the development of a national enforcement database. The Belize Fisheries Department and co-managers of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have embraced this tool as another step in improving enforcement actions in national waters. The system is now used nationally, a testament of its user-friendly format, comprehensive coverage, and rapid ease of reporting.

Key Staff

Julio R. Maaz, A.S.
Community Fisheries Coordinator