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Home » Crime, Environment » 2 Guatemalan Fishermen Fined for Illegally Fishing in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve
Apr 10, 2018

2 Guatemalan Fishermen Fined for Illegally Fishing in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve

Two illegal Guatemalan fishers were busted inside the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.  A joint patrol of the site’s rangers and coast guard discovered the fishers within the protected area just before two on Sunday morning. A check on the boat led to the discovery of a gill net being used to catch fish. Also on board the vessel were large quantities of different species of fish including mackerel, lane snappers, bony fish and sport fish like permit and tarpon. The men were arraigned on five charges in the Punta Gorda Magistrate Court today. We spoke via phone with Zane Zuniga the marine manager of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve.

 

On the Phone: Zane Zuniga, Marine Manager of PHMR, TIDE

“Upon apprehension of the vessel, two male Hispanic individuals were onboard who later identified themselves as Mister Jorge Pineda and Kennedy Diaz. After further questioning, the individuals were engaged in commercial fishing in Port Honduras Marine Reserve with a gill net. So, the individuals were then cautioned about what they were doing inside the reserve and the charges.”

 

Duane Moody

“Talk to us a little more about the charges that were placed on these men?”

 

On the Phone: Zane Zuniga

“They were later brought in to Punta Gorda Police Station where they were transferred over and the following day the case file was prepared. They were read five charges today, including, engaging in commercial fishing without a valid fisher folk license, engage in commercial fishing without a valid boat license, engage in commercial fishing with restricted gear which was the gillnet, possession of permit and possession of tarpon.”

 

Duane Moody

“Has this been an unabated case where we are seeing more and more Guatemalan fishermen fishing in this reserve?”

 

On the Phone: Zane Zuniga

“Yes, due to the close proximity of Port Honduras Marine Reserve to Honduras and Guatemala and their depleted natural resources, these individuals risk their lives, equipment such as vessels and engines, items on board such as GPS, to come and fish within Belizean waters because of our rich marine products and natural resources here in Belize’s national waters.”

 

The men were fined two thousand six hundred and twenty-five dollars each. They were ordered to pay the fine immediately and if they default they will spend one year eight months in jail. The fishing vessels and all items on board were confiscated.

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