The purpose of this socioeconomic assessment is to provide baseline data on the social and economic conditions of three of the five coastal fishing communities supporting Friends of Nature (FON) in the co-management of two marine reserves in southern Belize. FON is a non-governmental, membership organization, based in Placencia, Belize. Fishermen, tour guides and business people form FON’s Board of Directors. Originally known as Friends of Laughing Bird Caye, the organisation lobbied the Government of Belize to declare Laughing Bird Caye, which had been used historically as a fishing camp, as a National Park and to protect biodiversity and promote the sustainability of the natural resources off the coast of Placencia. FON also has a co-management agreement with the Fisheries Department for the management of Gladden Spit Marine Reserve. Gladden Spit is one of the very few spawning aggregation sites in Belize and this is where whale sharks also make appearance in the months of April, May and June as part of their migration route.