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May 17, 2018

Picking Your Favorite Fisherman

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and its partner agencies want to recognize fisherfollks who are doing good work in the fishing industry. Two outstanding fishers will be awarded along with a “Fisher of the Year.”  This is the fourth year the award is being given out and again, the organizers want you to help nominate candidates for the award. The initiative is a part of the National Fisherfolk Month which is observed in June. Deseree Arzu of the WCS tells us about the “Fisher of the Year” award.

 

Deseree Arzu

Deseree Arzu, Communications Coordinator, WCS

“It is not a fun job. It is not in many people’s eyes an outstanding job. It is not exotic. But it is something that – I think fishers are underappreciated because that sector actually represents three percent gross domestic product of Belize. It is a multi-million dollar industry and provides jobs for over fifteen-thousand Belizeans. So, whether you eat conch, whether you eat lobster, whether you eat finfish, you are a part of the group of people the industry provides food for. And these people are not appreciated enough, so we thought that recognizing them every year in the month of June, seeing that the twenty-ninth of June is Caribbean Fisherfolk Day and this is just an event that we recognize them.    Nominations are open for the Fisher of the Year Award 2018. We are inviting the public to send in nominations of their favorite fisher. There are certain criteria those fishers must meet. One of them is that they should be affiliated with a fisher association or a fishing cooperative; you should indicate how long they have been fishing; try to get a copy of their fisher folk license. It has to be someone outstanding, someone with integrity. We don’t want fishers who may have had an infraction with the law, fishing illegal. We want someone that the community respects that gives or shows an example of what it is to be an exemplary fisher who fishes sustainably.”

 

Closing date for nominations is June fifteenth. Nomination forms are available at the Fisheries Department on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City or at the WCS on Coney Drive.

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