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Mar 5, 2018

Honduran Fishermen Busted in Reserve

A routine patrol by rangers of the Southern Environmental Association, better known as SEA, and Belize Coast Guard officers resulted in the arrest of three Honduran fishermen. The patrol near the spawning and aggregation site in the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve on Sunday night led to the capture of Henry Castro, Joel Alfredo Ponce Aguilera and Marlon Ivan Gavarette Alvarado. The trio were spotted around nine in the evening and failed to evade authorities or dispose of offending items. We get more from SEA Executive Director Arreini Palacio Morgan.


On the Phone: Arreini Palacio Morgan, Executive Director, SEA

“It’s a routine patrol that our rangers, jointly along with the Belize Coast Guard, were doing around the spawning and aggregation site within the Gladden Spit/Silk Cayes Marine Reserve. We try to do nightly patrols especially during the months of March to June every year. During that particular patrol they came across three boats within the zone, and set chase after one of them that was moving toward a southerly direction. They eventually came up on the boat when we presume that they decided to give up, not having as much horsepower as our boats did. Our rangers boarded the vessel, took it to a ranger station and we processed them, brought them to Placencia, and they were arraigned in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court.”


Aaron Humes

“And as I understand it they pleaded guilty to the charge?”


On the Phone: Arreini Palacio Morgan

“The gentlemen pleaded guilty to the three charges that were placed on them; I believe they were given their fines; they proceeded to pay the fines.”


Castro, Aguilera and Alvarado were charged with engaging in commercial fishing whilst not being the holder of a valid fisherman’s license and engaging in fishing without a Special License in the Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve. They were also charged with use of a vessel for commercial fishing without a valid boat license. The area is part of the third zone for national managed access. In related news, a few days ago, another similar patrol acting on information received made a large bust of marine products on Jacks Caye, including thousands of conch, spiny lobsters, sea cucumbers and a hawksbill turtle. These were registered with the Fisheries Department and with their blessing re-distributed to feeding programs associated with SEA in Seine Bight and Placencia.

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