Illegal Fishing in Belize-This must be Stopped NOW

No Permit Can Allow Illegal Fishing
posted (January 23, 2012)

In 2009 the possession of Tarpon, Bonefish and Permit was prohibited in Belize – except in the act of catch and release. And although this has been law for three years now, it seems not everyone got the message. Today some disturbing photos were circulated showing the illegal slaughter of some of these protected fish off the shores of San Pedro on a fishing vessel called the “Acitac”.How can these protected fish be such an easy target? The problem seems to lie in management and organization – or lack thereof – since no money is received by the Fisheries Department to enforce the laws pertaining sport fishing – as it is the purview of the Coastal Zone Management Authority which does not do enforcement.

Illegal fishing of the Tarpon, Bonefish or Permit attracts a fine of 500 dollars. The species was protected because it is an important tourist attraction and their population numbers were low. The lure of the fish is that it is widely enjoyed as a dried, salted delicacy.

Fisheries would like to bring charges against the owner of the boat – but all they have is a picture and a registration number.


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