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Belize Barrier Reef Defined

Thu, Dec 17, 2009 1 Comment

Belize




Introduction

Belize, a diminutive country, is located in Central America is considered quite privileged to encompass a panoramic piece of land, just off the coast. World’s second largest barrier reef, Belize Barrier Reef, position in the Northern Hemisphere, is a diving hub for all levels of divers.

belize barrier reef

Isolated Country

The area covered by the country of Belize is 8,880 square miles and the population is just 220,000. Belize is known for its excellent marine-life variety. And with the help of several voluntary institutes, the government has been successful to classify about 40% of the area as nature reserve.

The Belize Barrier Reef

The protracted land measuring 174 miles length and between 9-19 miles breadth, the Belize Barrier Reef is also listed among many World Heritage Sites. Three out of four Caribbean Islands can be seen across the length of the reef. A formation of linear sand and coral structures, known as cayes, is commonly found around the reef, which acts as a base for diving adventures. Amongst many cayes, Ambergris Caye is most famous.

This reef conserves over 300 species of fishes and 66 kinds of coral, with many new species being found every year. The coral here flourishes with the help of blazing sun and mineral-rich water roaring around the reef. When you walk or dive in the barrier, the water is shallow and sapphire. However, as you move away from the barrier, it’s deep and dark shades of blue can be observed.

belize barrier reef reserve

The Delight of Diving

With several species of fish, corals, and other creatures, diving in the azure water of Belize Barrier Reef is a pleasurable experience. You can find nurse sharks and stingrays at Shark Ray Alley. Although the most exciting dive can be experienced at the famous Blue Hole, there are numerous other places to enjoy with archetypal reef dives, regular animal gatherings, channel formations, and the superlative spur. You can also marvel at the sights of whale sharks as big as 60-70 feet found at Gladden Spit.

Blue Hole

Probably the most popular location in the country of Belize is the Blue Hole. This enormous cave 50 miles off the east coast and in the middle of Lighthouse reef was discovered by Cousteau in the year 1972.  The diameter of this hole is around 985 feet depth of 410 feet. Don’t fret if you find Lemon sharks in the interior of the hole, they live there.

blue hole belize reef

Trip Tips

The water temperature is generally between 76 to 83°F. You can experience the delight of diving in the Belize Barrier Reef year-round, however, hurricane period commences from October. The Shark Ray Alley, Blue Hole, and the Gladden Spit are the must-see attractions.

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One Response to “Belize Barrier Reef Defined”

  1. vareeja Says:

    Despite the protective measures the Belize Barrier Reef has been affected by two mass-bleaching events.

    When coral bleaching occurs, a large part of the coral dies, and the remaining part of the ecosystem begins the process of repairing the damage.

    But the chances of recovery is low, as corals that are bleached become much more vulnerable to disease. Disease often kills more corals than the bleaching event itself.

    With continuous bleaching, the coral reef will have little to no chance of recovery.

    Reply


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