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Jan 30, 2018

Guat Fishers Held for Plundering Port Honduras Reserve

Two Guatemalan fishermen remain in detention tonight after they were fined in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court over seven thousand dollars for illegally fishing in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. Around two on Sunday morning, Mynor Cifuentes and Sergio Lopez were discovered with miles of illegal fishing lines and catch well within Belizean territorial waters. A patrol including park rangers hired by the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment and Coastguard personnel set chase after the illegal fishers who tried to evade the patrol but were apprehended. Today, they were officially arraigned on four charges. Manager at Port Honduras Marine Reserve, Zane Zuniga told News Five via phone today that the illegal fishing by Guatemalans in the reserve is a constant battle, but fortunately the men were caught. Zuniga explains the extent of the charges.

 

On the Phone: Zane Zuniga, Manager, Port Honduras Marine Reserve

“The fishermen tried to escape, but the patrol team was equipped and motive to apprehend them. At apprehension, the two fishers had no document for fishing in Belize and were fishing illegally with prohibited fishing gear within the marine reserve. Approximately over two miles of long line with about four hundred hooks in water and they also had in their possession additional long lines with approximately four hundred and thirty hooks. The individuals were arraigned today in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s court where their charges were read to them. Total they had four charges: Use of Long Lines within Port Honduras Marine Reserve; Using a Vessel with Allotted Distinguishing Marks; Fishing without a Valid Fisherfolk License and Using a Boat without Boat License. The total charge per person was approximately three thousand five hundred and twenty dollars. Because of the close proximity of Port Honduras Marine Reserve to Guatemala and Honduras this has been the evolving challenge for the reserve. These individuals come and risk whatever they are coming with and they try to fish illegally within the reserve. So it is a constant battle between us and the individuals from Guatemala.”

 

Failure to pay fines will land them two years behind bars. Additionally, the vessel and all equipment and fisheries products illegally caught were confiscated. Up to news time, relatives are inquiring the process of paying the fines.

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1 Response for “Guat Fishers Held for Plundering Port Honduras Reserve”

  1. Manuel Pinto says:

    Los tratados de 1783, 1786, le establecen a Belice el limite oriental hasta la costa porque el mar y las islas es territorio de la república de Guatemala, el tratado de 1859 y ningún otro tratado le amplia el limite oriental a Belice.

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